A fascinating portrait of a pre-Gaddafi society on the verge of change.
Tripoli in the 1960s. A sweltering, segregated society. Hadachinou is a lonely boy. His mother shares secrets with her best friend Jamila while his father prays at the mosque. Sneaking through the sun-drenched streets of Tripoli, he listens to the whispered stories of the women. He turns into an invisible witness to their repressed desires while becoming aware of his own.
Why Peirene chose to publish this book: ‘This is a fascinating portrait of a closed society. On the surface this quiet vignette of a story could be read as gently nostalgic, but underneath the author reveals the seething tensions of a traditional city coming to terms with our modern world. The book gives us privileged access to a place where men and women live apart and have never learned to respect each other.’Meike Ziervogel
‘The reader feels he is peeking through a half-drawn curtain on a secret feminine world in a patriarchal society . .. Excellent.’David Mills,Sunday Times
‘Beautifully simple and restrained prose.’Lucy Popescu,Huffington Post
‘It ought to be commended for its lack of sentimentality about this much-mythologized chapter of modern Libya.’Hasham Matar,Times Literary Supplement
‘A short but shimmering read.’Malcolm Forbes,National