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January 2016


Image: Serban Savu, Untitled, 2006, oil on canvas, 50x33 cm Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Plan B

As the Northern Hemisphere hunkers down into winter, we’re bunkering in with a variety of captivity narratives. Imprisonment both literal and figurative is in order here, as jailers and captives consider all sorts of confinements. Alain Blottière portrays a season in hell as Rimbaud runs guns and more on the African coast of the Red Sea.  Đỗ Bích Thúy’s deracinated daughter is drawn back into family bonds. Ivana Rogar’s isolated wife takes no prisoners, and Lina Wolff’s jaded young mistress is roped into revenge. Mohamed Nedali’s young Moroccan couple can’t escape the country’s byzantine corruption. In prison tales, Romania’s Matéi Visniec captures a freed inmate's disorientation, while the Basque writer Ramiro Pinilla voices the multiple ways in which Franco squelched free speech. We trust you’ll find the issue, well, arresting. And five years after the start of the Arab Spring, we feature a selection of writing from the region guest edited by Elisabeth Jaquette.


Book Reviews

Tahar Ben Jelloun’s “The Happy Marriage”

Reviewed by Tony Malone

The reader is left with the question: in the case of an unhappy marriage, would it be better to follow the advice of Tolstoy or Ben Jelloun?

The Return of the Narrative: Miljenko Jergović’s “The Walnut Mansion”

Reviewed by Ellen Elias-Bursać

Jergović roots his stories firmly in local Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian turf. History is back.

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