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The Desert
Or, The Life and Adventures of Jubair Wali al-Mammi

Albert Memmi
Translated from the French by Judith Roumani

Paper $19.95    |    978-0-8156-1055-7    |    2015

ebook 978-0-8156-5335-6

"The Desert seems to have given itself the paradoxical task of establishing origins and mythologies while at the same time working quite hard to unmoor them."—Celaan

"For readers who treasure a traditional folkloric Judeo-Arabic ‘Arabian Nights’ form of storytelling, this book is a delight."—Jewish Herald-Voice

"This novel brilliantly melds history with imagination, showing us a Mediterranean world which to Western eyes is upside-down, where civilization and sophistication are in the south and barbarism is in the north, and where before the colonial era the indigenous Jews of North Africa were perfectly at home among the other ethnic groups. Memmi’s sensitive and ironic portrayal cuts to the heart of many modern and ancient dilemmas of war, statesmanship and personal ethics."—A.B. Yehoshua, award-winning author of Mr. Mani

"The Desert is a wonderful novel, one of Albert Memmi’s best books. Fascinating, illuminating. Judith Roumani’s translation is excellent, true to Memmi’s writing."—Naim Kattan, author of Farewell Babylon: Coming of Age in Jewish Baghdad

"An important work of Maghrebi francophone literature. . . . Roumani has managed to veritably channel the voice, timbre, style, and sometimes quirky qualities of the original."—Lia Nicole Brozgal, associate professor of Francophone studies, University of California, Los Angeles

"Each episode of his story provides a lesson in wisdom, and the novel as a whole constitutes an engaging and thought-provoking mixture of storytelling, reflection, and introspection."—Gerald Prince, professor of Romance languages, University of Pennsylvania

  The Desert

  Albert Memmi is the author of numerous philosophical/sociological essays and is particularly known for his groundbreaking study of the predicament of the colonized in The Colonizer and the Colonized and for his novels, Pillar of Salt (1953), Strangers (1955), and The Scorpion (1969), all set in Tunisia. The Desert, first published in French in 1977, is his fourth novel. In 2004, the Académie Française awarded him the Grand Prix de la Francophonie for his work as a whole. Judith Roumani is the translator of Jews in an Arab Land: Libya, 1835–1970 by Renzo De Felice (1985) and author of Albert Memmi (1987), as well as other studies of Memmi and numerous publications in comparative literature and Sephardic studies.

Book Description »

View other series books on Middle East Literature in Translation

6 x 9, 200 pages, 10 black-and-white illustrations, notes

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