Podcast: Conversation (in English) with Abdellah Taia

10:32 PM Aida Alami 0 Comments

 

Zahira is 40 years old, Moroccan, a prostitute, traumatized by her father's suicide decades prior, and in love with a man who no longer loves her. Zannouba, Zahira's friend and protege, formerly known as Aziz, prepares for gender confirmation surgery and reflects on the reoccuring trauma of loss, including the loss of her pre-transition male persona. Mojtaba is a gay Iranian revolutionary who, having fled to Paris, seeks refuge with Zahira for the month of Ramadan. Meanwhile, Allal, Zahira's first love back in Morocco, travels to Paris to find Zahira.

Through swirling, perpendicular narratives, A Country for Dying follows the inner lives of emigrants as they contend with the space between their dreams and their realities, a schism of a postcolonial world where, as Abdellah Taïa writes, "So many people find themselves in the same situation. It is our destiny: To pay with our bodies for other people's future."

 The novel is shortlisted for PEN America Literary Awards 2021, Category: Pen Translation Prize . 

LINK TO THE EPISODE

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