A Passenger from the West
(Un Passager de l’occident)
Translated by Peter Thompson
Introduction by Pierre Joris
ISBN: 978-1-944884-45-1 (pbk.)
In 1970, Nabile Farès was asked to interview James Baldwin for Jeune Afrique magazine, an experience which set in motion A Passenger from the West. What begins in this book as an interview with Baldwin confronting the history of Black America leads Farès into a journey through his own past. Vivid encounters in France and Spain connect with Farès’s remembrances of his native Algeria, its war for independence, and the traumatizing effect it had on him as a child.
The original Jeune Afrique interview with Baldwin is included as an appendix to the novel.
It is Farès’s unique sensitivity to the power of allegory that gives his work its distinctive place in Maghrebi literature. His work marks a turning point and foreshadows the tragedy to come in Algeria.
—Réda Bensmaïa, Brown University
Here, in this unique, multicultural space, Farès engages the diverse complexities of our globalized age before we even knew they existed.
—Valérie K. Orlando, University of Maryland