The Death of Murat Idrissi
Longlisted for the Booker International.
Two women on a journey through the land of their fathers and mothers. A wrong turn. A bad decision.
They had no idea, when they arrived in Morocco, that their usual freedoms as young European women would not be available. So, when the spry Saleh presents himself as their guide and savior, they embrace his offer. He extracts them from a tight space, only to lead them inexorably into an even tighter one: and from this far darker space there is no exit.
Their tale of confinement and escape is as old as the landscapes and cultures so vividly depicted in this story of where Europe and Africa come closest to meeting, even if they never quite touch.
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About the Author
Tommy Wieringa was born in 1967 and grew up partly in the Netherlands, and partly in the tropics. He began his writing career with travel stories and journalism, and is the author of several internationally bestselling novels. His fiction has been longlisted for the Booker International Prize, shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Oxford/Weidenfeld Prize, and has won Holland's Libris Literature Prize.
"A savagely effective little novel...A nasty masterpiece of narrative tension; it's brutally spare."
--Anthony Cummins, Evening Standard
"The gifted Dutch writer Tommy Wieringa is a bold, intelligent stylist, unafraid of exposing the ugliness of society juxtaposed with the vagaries of human nature. [A] taut, intense contemporary thriller of multiple exploitations...The full mercilessness of the migrant dilemma is confronted here to devastating effect."
--Eileen Battersby, The Observer
"The sentences are concise, propelling the action along and keeping readers on the edge of their seats...a vital must-read."
--Clayton McKee, Asymptote
"The Death of Murat Idrissi is a powerful tale of identity, relationships and the desire to both fit in and to escape...The Death of Murat Idrissi is a dark and deeply profound tale that examines the fragile humanity of ordinary people and exposes just how cheaply a life can be valued." FOUR STARS
--Erin Britton, New Books Magazine
"As scintillating as it is unforgiving, this tiny diamond of a novel from Dutch author Tommy Wieringa is such a masterpiece of compression it could stand as an object lesson for students of creative writing...[A] deceptively simple, yet intricately layered, tale of complicity and exploitation."
--Cameron Woodhead, The Age
"A compact novella pulling powerful punches. A must read."
--Alice Farrant, Shiny New Books
"A lucidly written reflection on the migrant crisis, by a Dutch master storyteller."
--Rose Shepherd, Saga Magazine
"Based on a shocking true story, this novel will make you question your belief in humanity...The book is short, a fast read, at an almost breathless pace. It will make you appreciate where you are now."
--Sophie Foster, Q Weekend
"It has the grip of a nightmare that is all too plausible."
--David Mills, The Sunday Times
"Wieringa's writing and Garrett's translation are elegant. From the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar to the aftermath of Murat's death, it is as if each sentence, each word, has been chosen with care. Both the writing and story merge into a beautiful symmetry, where it's not possible to appreciate the devastating story without appreciating the paradoxically beautiful writing. I was able to easily slip within the minds of each character, understand their motives and anxieties. For such a short novel, it felt very full."
--Alice Farrant, Shiny New Books
"The prose is tight, the story packed into 100 pages, stripped of superfluous detail as a short story might be...Engaging and thought-provoking."
--Anne Goodwin, Annecdotal
"All of a sudden the pace takes off, rocketing the reader to a satisfying conclusion."
--Lauren Novak, Adelaide Advertiser
"A powerful and moving tale. It confronts the horror and cruelty of the migrant dilemma with understated but stark honesty."
--Graeme Barrow, Daily Post
Praise for Tommy Wieringa:
"The best contemporary novels are a quest made out of literary and moral ambition. Those who have successfully pursued this Holy Grail in recent times are Bolaño with his The Savage Detectives, Sebald in Austerlitz, Coetzee with Disgrace and the late Philip Roth. From now on, to that august list must be added the name of Tommy Wieringa."