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Other titles in the European Women Writers series:
Century of Locusts (European Women Writers)by Malika Mokeddem
Synopses & Reviews
What first appears as a tiny moving shadow, no bigger than a fly, on the dazzling horizon slowly reveals itself as the grim shape of violence and death; in the destruction left behind—the mothers broken body, the hidden child, the crying infant—begins the story of wandering and loss, of exile and desolation that sounds all the sad echoes of disappearing Bedouin life. Set in the first half of the twentieth century, Malika Mokeddems Century of Locusts combines the magic of exquisitely wrought desert landscapes, the intrigue of Bedouin tales of madmen and poets, and the personal pain of exile and isolation to evoke a way of life destroyed by the scourge of settler colonialism.
The book tells the braided tales of those left to resist: a wandering poet and his mute, stricken daughter, Yasmine; the lunatic Majnoun; and Majnoun's murderous sidekick, Hassan, who twitches and squints with malevolence, lurking along the storys shadowy borders. Rippling ever outward with allusions and echoes, the tale eventually encompasses Algerias legendary past, its colonial injustices, and its uncertain future, even as Mokeddems poetry and deft touch confer life and hope on the ravaged body of this desert land.
What first appears as a tiny moving shadow, no bigger than a fly, on the dazzling horizon slowly reveals itself as the grim shape of violence and death; in the destruction left behind--"the mother's broken body, the hidden child, the crying infant--"begins the story of wandering and loss, of exile and desolation thatexile and desolation that sounds all the sad echoes of disappearing Bedouin life. Set in the first half of the twentieth century, Malika Mokeddem's
About the Author
Malika Mokeddem is an Algerian exile who has lived most of her life in France. A medical doctor as well as a writer, she worked in Montpellier as a general practitioner focusing on the health needs of the immigrant North African community until recently, when death threats forced her to close her clinic. Century of Locusts won several literary awards in France, including the prix Littré. Laura Rice is an associate professor of comparative literature at Oregon State University. Karim Hamdy does research in the area of international development and is a teacher of French and Arabic at Oregon State University. Rice and Hamdy are coauthors of Departures, the translations of and critical essays on the selected writings of Isabelle Eberhardt.
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