by Anouar Benmalek

Front the outset Abduction keeps the reader firmly under its thumb; there's barely a moment of relief in this unflinching account of a family shredded by the abduction of their daughter. Far from pleasant and difficult to say enjoyable, but a piercing insight into past and present day Algeria that got me wanting to know more.


The kidnapper repeated solemnly, with a touch of vanity, 'I exist. And I have just proved that by making you my slave. Don't be startled: the Arab world, the whole fucking Arab world, is made up of masters and slaves. Think hard: have you ever been free, truly free, in this country? You'd be lying if you answered yes. So don't lie! If you are an Arab, you are already something of a slave. Don't worry: everyone's turn comes round in this shit-hole world of ours. Formerly, I used to be - how should I put this? - enslaved for life by certain events, and it lasted a long time, believe you me?'
Translated by Simon Pare


The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara

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