Desert Paperback – 1 Feb 2010
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'A rich, sprawling, searching, poetic, provocative, broadly historic and demanding novel, which in all those ways displays the essence of Le Clézio. As a reflection on colonization and its legacy, it is painfully relevant after 30 years.' --New York Times
'Dense, highly measured, intensely imagistic... A book one must admire for its profound seriousness, for its scorched-earth poetics and for its rendering of a lost world.' --Douglas Kennedy, The Times
'[Le Clezio's] tales have epic and exotic qualities...he writes with a moral seriousness and engagement... These stories of displacement and exile are both timely and epic... This is one of Le Clezio's major works... It reveals the history of colonial France in the Arab world.'
--Andrew Hussey, Financial Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
The international bestseller, by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2008, available for the first time in English translation.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is translated from the French into American English, which can be irritating. Nevertheless there is a flow of balladry about it, and the story is reminiscent of Homeric epics. There is a political message about the effects of colonialism on the conquered people. Perhaps there is meant to be a glimmer of hope with the birth of Lalla's child - or perhaps not.
Where Le Clezio's novel is beautiful is in its depiction of the desert. This is both broadly cinematic, full of the wide horizon scorched by the burning sun and intensely personal with the description of the trail left in the sand by a passing snake or the sharp stones that cut the feet, among others. Le Clezio spends a huge proportion of the novel deep in the sands of the desert, bringing the heat, the wind and the grains of sand so vividly to life that nothing else seems to have any real significance.
In many ways therefore, Nour's story (by far the shorter of the two) puts a human context to the desert. His life shows the ancient synchronicity between man and the extremes of the desert, stripped as his story is of almost all traditional or religious details. Lalla's story in turn seems simply to underline the atmosphere he portrays in the desert: Her story is far from entirely credible (how does she travel without papers,how does she achieve so much in so little time, how does she return without the ability to read and why is everyone suddenly obsessed with her eyes?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was totally spoiled for me by the translation into American English, which often left me bewildered. I failed to finish what I hoped would be an inspiring read.Published 9 months ago by J Kirkby
LeClézio won the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 2008, primarily for this work. In the making of such awards, like the premise that the Supreme Court makes its legal decisions... Read morePublished on 10 Mar. 2011 by John P. Jones III