A Country of Vanished Dreams

May 28, 2014|
A Country of Vanished Dreams
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‘Sad is the day when the children of our revolution become our enemies.’

1987. Algeria is on the brink of civil war.  In the market square in El Oued, a political fugitive Muhammad Madani poses as Rahwun, the storyteller.  With tales that roar back and forth through time, he narrates the history of that magical and formidable country, fables of intrigue and of strife, of children sold and of women forsaken, of families uprooted and of families emigrating to France, of disillusionment and disappointment, of wars and war.  

Drawn by Madani’s wit, wisdom and compassion, his listeners return week after week to piece together the ragged fragments that make a mysterious, sinister and subversive whole.  But Madani is unaware his chronicles of Algeria past and present are being recorded by an undercover policeman—or is he?

‘A brilliant combination of the historian and the teller of tales.  Readers are likely to be reminded of Midnight’s Children, but Brebner is an absolute original.’ – Penelope Fitzgerald. Booker Prize & National Book Critics Circle Prize Winner

‘The sheer pleasure of all these stories…heavy with saccharine and irony but beautifully told and wandering like footsteps lost in the desert until finally, in a quite outstanding ending, eventually coming back on themselves.’ – Time Out

‘A dauntingly assured new voice.’ – The Sunday Times

‘…The Country of Vanished Dreams is remarkable for its original style and potent, poetic prose.' N J Dawood – The Times

‘North African enthusiasts will be entranced.’ – Daily Telegraph

Author Philip Brebner was born in London, educated in Washington DC and also in England.  After studying at the University of Dundee he was awarded a PhD from Glasgow University for his thesis on the ideologies of urban planning in Algeria between 1830 and 1980.  Later he lectured at architecture schools in Jeddah and Oporto, before living in Oxford for three years. There, in 'the city of dreaming spires' he wrote his first novel, A Country of Vanished Dreams, which was published by Picador to critical acclaim, and translated.

As well as fiction, he has published in academic journals and in The Independent. To keep the wolves from the door, he taught creative writing for the British Council and dealt in rare rugs and textiles in Istanbul. In 2004 he and a colleague were invited to design the master plan for a major tourism project in Morocco - an idea that, sad to say, the government put on ice.

Title:A Country of Vanished Dreams
Format:Kobo ebook
Published:May 28, 2014
Publisher:Thames Street Press
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9781843962816

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