An immediate and critically acclaimed bestseller in France,
This Blinding Absence of Light
is Tahar Ben Jellouns
crafting of a horrific real-life narrative into a work of fiction.
In this deeply moving novel, says LExpress
, Tahar Ben
Jelloun has chosen imagination as the response to inhumanitythe
art of writing as the ultimate liberation. He tells the appalling
story of the desert concentration camps in which King Hassan II of
Morocco held his political enemies. Not until September 1991, under
international pressure, was Hassans regime forced to open these
desert hellholes. A handful of survivorsliving cadavers who had
shrunk by over a foot in heightemerged from the six-by-three-foot
cells in which they had been held underground for decades.
Working closely with one of the survivors, Ben Jelloun eschewed
the traditional novel format and wrote a book in the simplest of
language, reaching always for the most basic of words, the most
correct descriptions. The result is a great novel, according to
Le Monde, and what Les Échos calls a book of
universal import, addressing all the horrors, past and doubtless
future, that man has inflicted on his fellow men.