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The Lovers of Algeria by Anouar Benmalek

The Lovers of Algeria

by Anouar Benmalek

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Story of Algeria after Independence through the story of a couple, Anna, a Swiss circus performer and Nasreddine, an Algerian, who meet, marry, and are separated by Anna's deportation back to Switzerland after Independence. Decades later, after the death of her Swiss husband, she reruns to Algeria, and with Jallal, a street urchin, journeys to find the graves of her children and hopefully find her husband. She sends him a telegram saying that she will be at his mother's house in the mountains. They journey to find each other through harrowing, horrific incidents. Indeed the whole story is shot through with inhumanity, brutality, and cruelty by both French and Algerians, but the story shows the tenacity of a lifelong love. ( )
  janerawoof | Jun 27, 2017 |
The story of Nazzreddine, an Algerian man trying to make his living in Algiers, and Anna, a Swiss circus performer passing through the city. Both have lived through substantial difficulties--Nazzreddine has been wrongfully imprisoned, and Anna left her abusive childhood home at a very young age. Both have fled their situations without much hope of finding anything better, and share a grim determination to continue on in the face of increasingly daunting circumstances. Anna leaves the circus when her adopted mother, Rita, is beaten when it is discovered that she is Jewish; ( )
  allison.sivak | Aug 8, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 155597404X, Paperback)

A breathless story of love and survival in war-torn Algeria-past and present
The devil has entered our country, and his footprints are everywhere.

Nine-year-old Jallal is old enough to know that his life in Algeria is precarious at best. Having run away from home, he survives by selling peanuts and single cigarettes on the street. The proposal by the elderly Swiss woman named Anna is shocking and preposterous: go to the mountains with her, as a translator, so she can find her lost lover from decades ago and pray over the graves of their murdered children.

Anna and Jallal's journey is wrought with danger and unspeakable tragedy. It was under similar circumstances that Anna first met the Arab Nasreddine. Ousted from the traveling circus where she performed as a trapeze artist, she had little choice but to accept Nasreddine's dangerous offer to live with him in a makeshift tent. But it was here, amid poverty, racism, and terrifyingly random violence, that they fell in love.

A best seller in France, The Lovers of Algeria is an unflinchingly candid story about a country where terrorism and government corruption are commonplace. As Anna and Nasreddine, beaten by time and memory, circle each other in Algeria, Anouar Benmalek shows with heart-wrenching detail that love can endure even the most inhuman conditions.

A Lannan Translation Series Selection

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:51 -0400)

Anna has returned to an Algeria rife with terrorism and the excesses of fundamantalism. She is remembering her children murdered in the 1960s, and searching for a man she once loved.

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