The Shell, by Moustafa Khalifa, “mesmerizing” autobiographical novel – Publishing perspectives

3 March 2016 189 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

TheShell-FROlivia Snaije, for Publishing Perspectives, December 2015

The Shell as part of the “top books” of 2015. Snaije says:

“Last but not least, La Coquille, (The Shell) by Moustafa Khalifé, a book I read in French, translated from Arabic, gave me the distinct feeling once I had finished it that I was no longer the same. Masterfully translated by Stéphanie Dujols, this autobiographical novel about 13 years spent in a Syrian prison is devastating and altogether mesmerizing, as terrible as the story is. Interestingly, La Coquille was published by Actes Sud in French before coming out in Arabic because Arabic-language publishers were afraid to print it. Although it is eight years old, the novel is absolutely auspicious and a good reminder to look back in time for books as well as looking forward to new releases. Fortunately for those who don’t read French, Interlink Books will be publishing The Shell in an English translation by Paul Starkey in the fall of 2016″

Olivia Snaije is a journalist and editor based in Paris who writes about the Middle East, multiculturalism, translation, literature, and graphic novels. She is a contributor to newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar Art, The Global Post, The New York Times and CNN.

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