By Hassouna Mosbahi, Max Weiss
After ne'er-do-wells unfold rumors a few widowed mother's vulnerable ethical personality one of the humans of a slum at the outskirts of Tunis that festers with migrants who've come to the city from the heartland looking for a greater existence, her twenty-year-old son takes issues into his personal palms and commits an unspeakable crime. An innovative and traumatic novel instructed from the alternating viewpoints of this unrepentant sociopath, as he sits and fumes on dying row yet willingly publications us via his juvenile exploits and twisted stories, and his murdered mom, who flippantly supplies an account of her interrupted existence from past the grave, A Tunisian story introduces the narrative abilities of Hassouna Mosbahi to an English-language viewers for the 1st time, as he confronts either taboos of Tunisian society and the limits of traditional storytelling.
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Additional info for A Tunisian Tale
Because I’m an enthusiast of history and geography, as I already mentioned, I read the greater part of The Travels of Ibn Battuta. I memorized some of Nizar Qabbani’s poetry by heart as well as five poems by Abu alQasim al-Shabi, and the poem “Identity Card” by Mahmoud Darwish. I must mention how my eloquent voice and my superiority in history and geography attracted the attention of the bearded ones at one point, and they started to become friendly with me, expending everything in their power in order for me to become one of them.
From the moment he wakes up until the electric lights in the cells and the cellblocks are shut off, he is grave-faced, distracted, stumbling here and there, moving confusedly, chewing on his lips from time to time like someone who feels they’ve lost their life for no reason. Rarely does he join the other prisoners in conversations and chats. He absolutely never answers questions about his private life. As for other questions, he responds to them with extreme curtness, or else mutters something difficult to decipher.
I can see myself on top of her in a big bed, like the beds of the princes of Baghdad during the age of Harun al-Rashid. She whispers beautiful words to me and I whisper more beautiful words back to her, and the world all around us is brilliant, suspended. . only dreams can make a person happy as he sleeps on cold concrete! indd 46 4/10/11 9:25 AM The Mother Please allow me to describe for you my condition when I reached sixteen years of age. Gloomy angst had sunk its claws into every part of my body.