A Tunisian Tale by Hassouna Mosbahi, Max Weiss

By Hassouna Mosbahi, Max Weiss

After ne'er-do-wells unfold rumors a few widowed mother's vulnerable ethical personality one of the humans of a slum at the outskirts of Tunis that festers with migrants who've come to the city from the heartland looking for a greater existence, her twenty-year-old son takes concerns into his personal palms and commits an unspeakable crime. An creative and anxious novel instructed from the alternating viewpoints of this unrepentant sociopath, as he sits and fumes on dying row yet willingly courses us via his juvenile exploits and twisted stories, and his murdered mom, who lightly offers an account of her interrupted existence from past the grave, A Tunisian story introduces the narrative abilities of Hassouna Mosbahi to an English-language viewers for the 1st time, as he confronts either taboos of Tunisian society and the limits of traditional storytelling.

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That’s right, his beautiful wife. She was the fulcrum of their interests. indd 44 4/10/11 9:25 AM blackish gray walls in every cell block, and on the cold concrete, behind high walls and iron bars, in the dim, foul-smelling cells, there is nothing but dreams of freeing oneself, and of hanging on to the relationship with the warmth of life on the outside, and with the absent, distant, female body. Ahhh. Look at me speaking like the philosophers and the poets, but I hope you won’t find that strange of me.

One of his peers challenged him about it one evening after a long drinking session and Kaboura punched him once, knocking him to the ground where his head hit the pavement so hard that he died on the spot. At this point, Kaboura’s eyes were bathed in tears as he said in a quavering voice that he was among those who accompanied Sidi Ali to his final resting place. The state-run press confirmed that more than one-third of the inhabitants of the capital were there, describing him as if he were a genuine national hero.

When the judge handed down his ruling in the case, Kaboura fell apart, lost his swagger, his self-inflation, and his braggadocio to become a pathetic creature in the blink of an eye, sobbing almost all the time, not because he had murdered his friend’s son in cold blood, but because he wasn’t going to get out of jail this time around, to strut in front of the neighborhood children boasting how he was the rightful successor to Ali Chwerreb, and to show up at the Mezoued parties and dance until dawn to the beat of songs by Hedi Habbouba and Salah el Farzit, or to wander around the old and new neighborhoods in the capital with a knife in his belt, making a living off his girlfriend Houriya, whom he used to pimp out back in the good old days.

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