Correspondances de Tanger

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This Blinding Absence of Light

This Blinding Absence of Light

Tahar Benjelloun

2005
Penguin Books

In 1971 disaffected student Salim took part in a failed coup to oust King Hassan II of Morocco. With sixty others he was incarcered in a secret prison complex in the Moroccan desert; they were to remain there for nearly twenty years.

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In 1971 disaffected student Salim took part in a failed coup to oust King Hassan II of Morocco. With sixty others he was incarcered in a secret prison complex in the Moroccan desert; they were to remain there for nearly twenty years. In starkly eloquent, beautiful prose, Tahar Ben Jelloun relates the prisoners' experiences as they struggle to survive. The son of a witty, feckless courtier who disowns him, Salim tells stories to keep sane – from the suras of his beloved Koran to the plot of A streetcar Named Desire. Even in the darkest, most terrible conditions, sympathy, insight, the human quest for meaning and understanding never desert Salim. The resulting novel is a wrenching yet exquisite celebration of the human spirit and its determination to survive.

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