Secret identities, criminal conspiracies, and forbidden love converge in this "whimsical and at times heartbreaking look" at the Muslim communities of Rome (The New York Times).The Italian secret service believes that a group of Muslim immigrants is planning a terrorist attack. Christian Mazzari, a young Sicilian translator who speaks perfect Arabic, goes undercover in Rome's Egyptian neighborhood, Viale Marconi, to infiltrate the group. Posing as a recently arrived Tunisian in search of a job and a place to sleep, Christian soon meets Sofia, a young Egyptian immigrant whose arranged marriage is anything but fulfilling. While Christian attempts in vain to uncover terrorist activity, Sofia is on another kind of secret mission--in defiance of a husband who forbids her to work.
In alternating voices, Algerian-born Italian author Amara Lakhous examines the commonplaces and stereotypes of life in modern, multicultural Italy. Divorce Islamic Style mixes the rational and the absurd as it depicts the conflicts and contradictions of today's globalized world.
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--The New Yorker "A satirical, enigmatic take on the racial tensions that afflict present-day Europe."
--Brooklyn Rail "What's memorable about Lakhous' novel is what he shows us of an often inward-looking nation confronting the teeming vibrancy of multicultural life."
--NPR's Fresh Air "Do we have an Italian Camus on our hands? Just possibly...No recent Italian novel so elegantly and directly confronts the 'new Italy.'"
--Philadelphia Inquirer Praise for Amara Lakhous "French and British literatures have long been enriched by the biculturalism of authors like Tahar Ben Jelloun, Amin Maalouf, Gaitam Malkani, and Monica Ali. With talented new writers like Lakhous, Italy is closing the gap."
--The New York Times "As a novelist of culture clash, Lakhous has the faculty to maintain colorful voices with the luxury of introducing political themes as instantiations of character."