THE BLINDING ABSENCE OF LIGHT by Tahar Ben Jelloun

THE BLINDING ABSENCE OF LIGHT

KIRKUS REVIEW

This semi-documentary novel from the Moroccan-born author of The Sacred Night (1989) and The Sand Child (1987) joins the long list of prison books descended from Dostoevsky’s The House of the Dead. Narrator Salim, who is held for 20 years in one of the notorious underground desert concentration camps to which Moroccan despot Hassan II consigned his political enemies, survives and retains his sanity through a regimen of intensive meditation and prayer. The story’s sensibility and emphases seem at times inalienably remote, but whenever Ben Jelloun focuses on Salim’s (quite universal) imagined continuing relation with the world from which he has been in effect exiled, it exudes a very nearly Dostoevskyan concentration and power.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-56584-723-7
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: New Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002




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