The Bone Seekers
(Les chercheurs d’os)
Translated by Marjolijn de Jager
ISBN: 978-1-944884-49-9 (pbk.)
“If you speak, you die, and if you remain silent, you die. So, speak and die.”—Tahar Djaout
Algeria, just after Independence. The inhabitants of a small Kabylian village go in search for the remains of their fighters who, during the war of liberation, fell here, there, and everywhere. They want to bury them a second time, at home, where they belong. Accompanied by a relative, an adolescent joins the “bone seekers” in search of his older brother’s remains. It is the first time the boy has left his village, and he will stumble upon a new universe. But why retrieve his brother’s bones when he can’t even be sure they are really his? Why bury them in the village that his brother hated so much when he was alive? What is the quest for but to reassure the survivors, so they can be rid of their own specters?
When the mission is over and he returns to his people with his macabre burden, the journey has transformed him.
“A mix of seriousness and irony that sets the tone for a bitter denunciation.” —La Dépêche de Kabylie