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Father/Son

Abdelkader Djemaï

Translated by Peter Thompson

ISBN 978-1-935084792

116 pages: $16.00

April, 2015


This volume presents two novellas—translations of Le Nez sur la vitre (Nose Against the Glass) and Un Moment d’oubli (Blind Moment)—concerned with contemporary North African identity. The former concerns the gap between an Algerian father and his son who is now acculturated to France, while the latter develops protagonists of French/Italian heritage. Both stories reveal the cultural tensions that evolve into a growing distance between father and son, and skillfully lead to deeply affecting surprise endings.

Translator's Foreword included on the Djemaï author page.


Thompson offers an insightful sketch of Djemaï’s career, and offers us data which enriches our interpretations […] Through the writer’s virtuosity, which the translator fully communicates to the reader, this short-story [Nose Against The Glass, from Father/Son] avoids the emptiness which is the hallmark of undistinguished literature.
--Marc-André Wiesmann, in CELAAN Review

Djemaï is a master storyteller able to capture in beautifully crafted prose what makes us human. His narratives transcend the barriers of race, class, language, and origins to express our common humanity.
—Valérie K. Orlando

With Father / Son, translator Peter Thompson and Diálogos Books once again team up to introduce to a wider audience an important but underrepresented Maghrebian author. Djemaï’s novellas explore the sorrowful—sometimes seedy—underside of humanity and offer the reader a fragmented and kaleidoscopic MRI scan of colonization and its disastrous impact on several generations of the colonized and ex-colonized, exposing an array of chronic woes including violence, déracinement, alienation, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and their common denominator, a dark loneliness.
—Eric Sellin