Confessions of a Madman

Leila Sebbar (Author) Rachel Crovello (Translator)


Confessions of a Madman personalizes the struggle of a civil war by following the fragmentation and irreversible separation of a single family. Written in alternating flashbacks and descriptions of a man's present, Sebbar delivers what French critics call a modern fable for adults: a tale of familial disorientation, identity, violence, and morality.

A young man observes his mother go crazy waiting for her murdered husband to return home. Despite his estrangement with his father, the son vows to avenge his father's death by murdering his father's killers. In delving into his father's past, he discovers his role in an unsuccessful revolt and soon finds himself following in his father's footsteps. He finds himself questioning the value of religious standards and cultural traditions when confronted with sociopolitical conflict. This text discusses the meaningfulness of cultural traditions, their origins, and their potential contemporary repercussions when juxtaposed with a modern context of events.

Product Details

$14.00  $12.88
Dalkey Archive Press
Publish Date
June 18, 2016
5.0 X 7.0 X 0.38 inches | 0.2 pounds
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About the Author

Leila Sebbar was born in 1941 to a French father and an Algerian mother. Much of her literature involves the relationship between France and Algeria, including direct juxtaposition of imagery related to both countries in order to highlight the differing cultures.

A unique quality of her work is her penchant for keeping her characters unnamed. This anonymity and mysterious quality to her literature allows relevance to a wider relation to all who seek asylum.

The daughter of a Filipino mother and an Italian-American father, Rachel Crovello was born and raised in the Midwest. Thanks to early exposure to French and Spanish at an immersion school, she discovered a passion for languages.

Rachel specialized in Arabic and Translation Studies while completing her B.A. in Linguistics at Stanford University. Rachel currently resides in the Bay Area, where she continues to explore her love of the power of language.