Salvation Army by Abdellah Taïa

Salvation Army

Abdellah Taïa

This quick, easy-to-read story of a young gay man’s childhood in North Africa and student life in Switzerland is gentle, moving, and not as explicit as you might think. This autobiographical novel, by Morocco’s first openly gay author, describes relationships beautifully - from family bonds to passionate romance and casual liaisons. The brevity of the book made me sad - I would have loved it to be longer.

Extract

My brother's body was there in front of me all afternoon. I scrutinized it, studied it from head to toe with the great care of a scientist dwelling on every detail. The slender nose. The big eyes. The bushy eyebrows. The thick hair .... All afternoon, I swam inside the unconscious body, that couldn't know how it was entertaining me. This body that is a part of myself and, at the same time, is another self.

Parallels
  • The Lemon by Mohammed M'Rabet
  • A Boy's Own Story by Edmund White
  • Leaving Tangier by Tahir Ben Jelloun

Books with similar mood

Miss Chopsticks

Xinran -

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa

Nicholas Drayson

The Universe Versus Alex Woods

Gavin Extence

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

Ayelet Waldman

The Twisted Heart

Rebecca Gowers

In Search of the Missing Eyelash

Karen Mcleod

The Light Between Oceans

M L Stedman

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce

Short Girls

Bich Minh Nguyen

The Pocket Guide to Being an Indian Girl

B K Mahal

Breaking Away

Anna Gavalda

Beyond the Great Indoors

Ingvar Ambjørnsen

Treading Water

Claire Collison

Frankie and Stankie

Barbara Trapido

Triangulation

Phil Whitaker

Ancient Promises

Jaishree Misra

Tears of the Giraffe

Alexander McCall Smith

Death in Pont-Aven

Jean-Luc Bannalec

The Last Kings of Sark

Rosa Rankin-Gee

Unexpected Lessons in Love

Bernadine Bishop

When God was a Rabbit

Sarah Winman

Three of a Kind

Alison Norrington

One Day, Someday

Lynne Barrett-Lee

The Beekeeper's Pupil

Sara George

Bread Alone

Judi Hendricks

The Touch Typist

Helen Sandler

According to Queeney

Beryl Bainbridge

Pears on a Willow Tree

Leslie Pietrzyk

Not Working

Lisa Owens

Trick

Domenico Starnone

An Unremarkable Body

Elisa Lodato

My Former Heart

Cressida Connolly

Rendezvous

Esther Verhoef

The Eyrie

Stevie Davies

Give Me a Sign

Shanta Everington

Time and Fate

Lance Price

Loving Him

Kate O'Riordan

P-Town Summer

Lisa Stocker

Despite the Falling Snow

Shamim Sarif

Class Act

Alison Norrington

The Pleasure of My Company

Steve Martin

Behaving like adults

Anna Maxted

The Other Woman's Shoes

Adele Parks

Adios Muchachos

Daniel Chavarria

Standing in the Rainbow

Fannie Flagg

Larger than Life

Adele Parks

The Hero's Walk

Anita Badami

Park and Ride

Miranda Sawyer