(Le Jasmin noir)
Translated by Peter Thompson
166 pages: $21.95 (paperback; ebook available)
This gripping first novel of the well-known Tunisian writer and performer Wafa Ghorbel won her the Prix Découverte, among the prestigious Comar d’Or prizes, when it was released in French in 2016. Now translated into multiple languages, and with a sequel in the works, this novel/memoir takes us from Ghorbel’s abused childhood through college years at the Sorbonne, a difficult sexuality and early marriage, all in the form of an epistolary to her rapist. Ghorbel’s voice is at times cool and judgmental, at times breaking with emotion, but always compelling, as it traces her move to France and a growing resistance to the restrictive laws and traditions in her home country.
This is a cry whose echoes rip the seven skies, chill the seven lands and linger in the reader’s head a long time—a very long time—after closing this book.
—Mokhtar Sahnoun, University of Tunisia
I welcome [Wafa Ghorbel] here… so that she gets read; so that everyone knows that, as a woman, she battles authoritarianism, ignorance and barbarity. So that she can go on doing this, with nothing blocking her way.
—Henri Béhar, University of Paris III
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