Boualem Sansal: Rue Darwin

The latest addition to my website is Boualem Sansal‘s Rue Darwin. This is a superb work by Sansal which tells the story of Yazid, an Algerian, the same age as Sansal, who takes his mother to Paris to die (of cancer) and where she can see her other children, Yazid being the only one still living in Algeria. Sadly, she falls into a coma on the plane and does not see her children but she tells Yazid (possibly telepathically) that he should return to Rue Darwin, the street where they grew up. In doing so, he finds that his antecedents are more complicated than he thought, involving the (female) head of a powerful clan, prostitution and abduction, while, at the same time, telling us about and vociferously condemning all the wars Algeria has been involved in. The novel gives us an albeit partial view of Algeria while telling an excellent and complex story.

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