Thursday, 8 December 2016

"The Power" by Naomi Alderman

Just finished "The Power" by Naomi Alderman published by Penguin Random House (2016).

Am left dazzled with a dreamy smile pondering on what I'd try to achieve or control if electricity ran through my spine.

In this fantasy-supernatural story, Alderman has imagined the transition between a world ruled by men to a world ruled by women.

What would change & what would remain the same? Are the motivations to rule fundamentally gender-based or do all leaders share the same characteristic: madness? 😯

"The Power" is deliciously entertaining, and its double position as a fictional historical novel makes for an extra treat.

I enjoyed Alderman's descriptive narrative style, but my favourite novels are those that gently peel off the surface to reveal a depth both unknown yet familiar, and play with the language. 

And that's exactly what I know I'll find in the novel I've been so looking forward to reading next ❤ "Transit" by Rachel Cusk published by Jonathan Cape ❤

"Nushell" by Ian McEwan

I could not put down Ian McEwan's latest novel "Nutshell" published by Jonathan Cape (2016).

"Nutshell" is a thoroughly novel-way to tell a tale and to build a crime fiction: the narrator and main witness is the unborn child of a murderess. 

Listening in from the womb, this not-yet-infant will try to prevent the awful act that his mother and her lover are planning. 

"Nutshell" is a reflection on the primordial link between the womb & the world, between empathy & desire, between birth & rebirth. And love.

McEwan's style is like a feather's caress, so insightful and otherwordly. A similar style to Rachel Cusk whose work I - for lack of a better verb - adore.

Side note: wine lovers & poets will love this novel and its many literary and oenology references.

We the others: Algeria's future and the future of Algeria

Another collective reflecting on the actions and non-actions that have created today's Algeria. Each writer is presented as a specialist of the field he or she chooses to retrace. In some cases the author is a well known specialist, in other cases, the writer simply has no more grasp of the matter at hand than any lambda citizen, and simply poses as one.

The result is disappointing and makes for a dull read. This type of "reflection with hindsight" is another example of groups with friendly links to publishing houses who blindly edit the work of groups seemingly decided upon claiming they constitute an elite. If the essays were free I wouldn't complain, but these publications are always expensive.

My review on TSA in French: « Nous autres » : l’AlgĂ©rie du futur et le futur de l’AlgĂ©rie ?

The Devil's apple: a novel that explores forgiveness and vengeance

Really enjoyed Djamila Morani's novella. Morani is a young Algerian author who writes in Arabic.

Tufah el-Djinn is set in Baghdad during the Abbasid period. A 12-year old girl who has witnessed the assassination of her family and escapes is faced with two choices: let herself die or get better to find out why her father became such a threat and to whom.

My review on TSA in French: Tufah el-Djinn : entre le pardon et la vengeance 

The Boumediene years - essays and short stories by a collective of authors

Aiming to demystify the Boumediene era, a collective of authors directed by Mohamed Kacimi tells their side of the story through their memories of these years as the children, teenagers or adults they once were.

My review on TSA in French: Les annĂ©es Boum, souvenirs des annĂ©es Boumediene