A satirical narrator relates the tale of a mythic hero who attracts academic interest and a down-to-earth heroine who goes her own way. Libya comes to life across the centuries through the story of a Tripoli park. Families live their lives, often scandalous, whatever changes occur and everyone chews gum. This is not a book about recent Libyan regimes - or is it? I'm just beginning to understand it. Definitely worth a second read.
She had escaped. She was a few metres away, her hair swaying on her shoulders and her red scarf hanging loosely against her back. The blackness of her coat erased her from his sight. Nothing new can be added to the fate of our hero after that. All that ensues is the churning and chewing in which our narrative is eternally trapped. Despite all the structural and stylistic tricks we have employed to extricate ourselves from this novelistic nightmare, we remain in a state of endless chewing.