Tripoli 16 October 2013:
Two novels by Libyan authors have been recommended as the best reads about Libya in a UK newspaper The Guardian blogpost.
Hisham Matar’s debut novel In the Country of Men, which details the author’s own experiences of his father’s disappearance under the Qaddafi regime, was first on the list.
Told from the perspective of a young boy, the blog described how Matar “distills his own experiences into this emotionally wrenching novel of love, repression and betrayal.”
First published in 2006, and since translated in 22 languages, In the Country of Men was awarded the 2007 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
The second recommended read was The Bleeding of the Stone by Libyan Tuareg Ibrahim al-Koni, which tells the story of a vegetarian Beduin goatherd who lives alone in the southern Libyan desert. The novel, published in 2003, the blog said, gives “a very different view of the Arab world to which we are accustomed.”
Described as an “ecological fable”, it touches on topics such as the slaughter of the country’s desert gazelles and other secrets of the desert, including some ancient wall paintings the protagonist guards.
Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution, by International Editor for the UK’s Channel 4 News, Lindsey Hilsum, was also recommended reading. Whilst the book is an account of Qaddafi’s downfall in the revolution, the blog pointed out that this is set against a backdrop of his 42 year-rule. It charts Qaddafi “from young, charismatic army officer and revolutionary to bizarre, Botoxed and delusional dictator.”
The Global Development blogpost chooses three of the best books about a different country each month.
The full blogpost can be found here. [/restrict]