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Desert
 
 
Author
J.M.G. Le Clezio. C. Dickson, trans.
Publisher Atlantic Books  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.25 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
ISBN 9781848873803
Pages/Publication Date 352/2009
Daedalus Item Code 30684
This item is not available.
Description
(Winner of France's Grand Prix Paul Morand) The Swedish Academy, in awarding J.M.G. Le Clézio the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, praised Desert as his "definitive breakthrough as a novelist." Published in France in 1980 but unavailable in English until 2009, Desert is the story of the "last free men" and Europe's colonial legacy, told in two alternating narratives. One follows young Nour and his people, the desert warriors known as the Blue Men, driven from their lands by French colonial soldiers in 1909 and seeking the aid of the great spiritual leader known as Water of the Eyes. The other narrative, set decades later, is the story of Lalla, an orphaned descendant of the Blue Men. From a shantytown in coastal Morocco, she flees to France to escape a forced marriage with a wealthy man.

"Desert is 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.... There is an element of the missionary in Le Clézio, just as there is still something of the rebel in him, in search of the new novel, trying to break loose from the traditional bonds of fiction and language to mirror a wider world as the Nobel citation described, to explore 'a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization.' Beneath his pantheism and ethnology, there is also a serious critic of contemporary Western civilization and its rationalism, pointing out the conflict between nature and cities, the disconnect between man and mythology."—NYTBR

 
 
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