Our Riches

Kaouther Adimi (Author) Chris Andrews (Translator)
Available

Description

Our Riches celebrates quixotic devotion and the love of books in the person of Edmond Charlot, who at the age of twenty founded Les Vraies Richesses (Our True Wealth), the famous Algerian bookstore/publishing house/lending library. He more than fulfilled its motto "by the young, for the young," discovering the twenty-four-year-old Albert Camus in 1937. His entire archive was twice destroyed by the French colonial forces, but despite financial difficulties (he was hopelessly generous) and the vicissitudes of wars and revolutions, Charlot (often compared to the legendary bookseller Sylvia Beach) carried forward Les Vraies Richesses as a cultural hub of Algiers.

Our Riches interweaves Charlot's story with that of another twenty-year-old, Ryad (dispatched in 2017 to empty the old shop and repaint it). Ryad's no booklover, but old Abdallah, the bookshop's self-appointed, nearly illiterate guardian, opens the young man's mind. Cutting brilliantly from Charlot to Ryad, from the 1930s to current times, from WWII to the bloody 1961 Free Algeria demonstrations in Paris, Adimi delicately packs a monumental history of intense political drama into her swift and poignant novel. But most of all, it's a hymn to the book and to the love of books.

Product Details

Price: $15.95  $14.67
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Published Date: April 28, 2020
Pages: 160
Dimensions: 5.3 X 0.5 X 8.1 inches | 0.4 pounds
Language: English
Type: Paperback
ISBN: 9780811228152
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Born in 1986 in Algiers, Kaouther Adimi lives in Paris. Our Riches, her third novel, was shortlisted for the Goncourt and won the Prix Renaudot, the Prix du Style, the Prix Beur FM Méditerranée, and the Choix Goncourt de l'Italie.

The poet Chris Andrews teaches at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, where he is a member of the Writing and Society Research Centre. He has translated books by Roberto Bolaño and César Aira for New Directions. He has won the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize for his poetry and the Valle-Inclan Prize for his translations.

Reviews

Fascinating: Adimi synthesizes the private minutiae of the great and sometimes forgotten publisher Edmond Charlot with the history of the times in a suprisingly light, almost breezy fashion, making this a fast, interesting, and engaging read.--Adam Hocker
A splendid declaration of the love of literature, the only link between epochs and beings.
A subject in gold: it was necessary to instill a rhythm, an experience, a tension, even to shake up the hourglass of time. Kaouther Adimi, born fifty years after the mythical bookshop, succeeds brilliantly at this triple jump.
Adimi's confident prose displays Ryad and Charlot's emotional depth while nimbly shuttling the reader through nearly a century of history. This is a moving tribute to the enduring power of literature.--Fiction Book Review: Our Riches
"An understated, lyrical story of reading and resistance over the tumultuous generations."--Our Riches by Kaouther Adimi (01/27/2020)