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An autobiographical coming-of-age novel by the the "only gay man" in Morocco.
Salé, near Rabat. The mid 1980s. A lower-class teenager is running after his dream to become a movie director. Running is the only way he can stand up to the violence that is his Morocco. This autobiographical novel traces the emergence of Taïa's identity as an openly gay Arab man living between cultures, creating a new world where the self is effaced by desire and love, and writing is always an act of discovery.
Set in Salé, Morocco—the hometown Abdellah Taïa fled but to which he returns again and again in his acclaimed fiction and films—Infidels follows the life of Jallal, the son of a prostitute witch doctor—"a woman who knew men, humanity, better than anyone. In sex. Beyond sex." As a ten-year-old sidekick to his mother, Jallal spits in the face of her enemies both real and imagined. The cast of characters that rush into their lives are unforgettable for their dreams of love and belonging that unravel in turn. Built as a series of monologues that are emotionally relentless—a mix of confession, heart's murmuring, and shouting match—the book follows Jallal out of boyhood on the path to Jihad. It's a path that surprises even him. From the Hardcover edition.
This meticulously researched yet engaging book traces The Salvation Army s history of service from its beginnings in Victorian England to its present-day mission in all parts of the world. / A phenomenal religious movement, acclaimed for its compassionate service, The Salvation Army now works in no fewer than 118 countries, yet no contemporary book has chronicled this high-profile organization until now. Henry Gariepy s well-written, comprehensive account effectively fills that gap.
How did Paris become the world favorite it is today? Charles Rearick argues that we can best understand Paris as several cities in one, each with its own history and its own imaginary shaped by dream and memory. Paris has long been at once a cosmopolitan City of Light and of modernity, a patchwork of time-resistant villages, a treasured heirloom, a hell for the disinherited, and a legendary pleasure dome. Each of these has played a part in making the enchanting, flawed city of our time. Focusing on the last century and a half, Paris Dreams, Paris Memories makes contemporary Paris understandable. It tells of renewal projects radically transforming neighborhoods and of counter-measures taken to perpetuate the city's historic character and soul. It provides a historically grounded look at the troubled suburbs, barren of monuments and memories, a dumping ground for unwanted industries and people. Further, it tests long-standing characterizations of Paris's uniqueness through comparisons with such rivals as London and Berlin. Paris Dreams, Paris Memories shows that in myriad forms—buildings, monuments, festivities, and artistic portrayals—contemporary Paris gives new life to visions of the city long etched in Parisian imaginations.
Told by six women in one family, Veronica Gonzalez Pena's The Sad Passions captures the alertness, beauty, and terror of childhood lived in proximity to madness. Set against the backdrop of a colonial past, spanning three generations, and shuttling from Mexico City to Oaxaca to the North Fork of Long Island to Veracruz, The Sad Passions is the lyrical story of a middle-class Mexican family torn apart by the undiagnosed mental illness of Claudia, a lost child of the 1960s and the mother of four little girls. It is 1960, and the wild and impulsive sixteen-year-old Claudia elopes from her comfortable family home in Mexico City with Miguel, a seductive drifter who will remain her wandering husband for the next twenty years. Hitchhiking across the United States with Miguel, sometimes spending the night in jails, Claudia stops sleeping and begins seeing visions. Abandoned at a small clinic in Texas, she receives electroshock treatment while seven months pregnant with her first daughter. Afterward, Miguel leaves her, dumb and drooling, at her mother's doorstep. Living more often at her mother's home than with Miguel, Claudia will give birth to four girls. But when Julia, her second daughter, is inexplicably given away to a distant relation in Los Angeles, Claudia's fragile, uncertain state comes to affect everyone around her. Julia's disappearance -- which could symbolize the destabilizing effect of manic depression -- will become the organizing myth in all of the daughters' unsettled lives; for if one can disappear, why not all of them?
In this harrowing novel, a young Moroccan bookseller is falsely accused of being involved in jihadist activities. Drugged and carried off the street, Hamuda is "extraordinarily rendered" to a prison camp in an unknown location where he is interrogated and subjected to various methods of torture. Narrated through the voice of the young prisoner, the novel unfolds in Hamuda’s attempt to record his experience once he is finally released after six years in captivity. He paints an unforgettable portrait of his captors’ brutality and the terrifying methods of his primary interrogator, a French woman known as Mama Ghula. With a lucid style, Himmich delivers a visceral tale that explores the moral depths to which humanity is capable of descending and the limits of what the soul can endure.

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