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Cover for The Star of Algiers

The Star of Algiers

A Novel

Ros Schwartz (Translated by), Aziz Chouaki, Lulu Norman (Translated by)


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"The Star of Algiers powerfully depicts youth in distress, caught between the lure of the West and the mosque." —BIBA

"We share his stage fright before each new gig. We are fired with his boundless energy. And once we've taken off, we come crashing down with him . . . Everything is human, alive and transparent." Elle, France

Moussa Massy's ambitions extend far beyond the three-room apartment he shares with the other thirteen members of his family in Algiers. A gifted performer of modern Kabyle song, he is as inspired by Prince and Michael Jackson as he is by Arab and Algerian traditional music. His first taste of fame, however, is brief, as the conflict between the fundamental Islamic group FIS and the more progressive FLN grows more violent and the city comes to a standstill amid corruption and scandal. As his music career begins to disintegrate, like the city itself, Massy's driving passion for music turns to unforgiving rage.

In energetic, urgent prose, Aziz Chouaki vividly portrays the harsh realities of a country in constant turmoil and brilliantly shows the capacity for despair and hatred of those who have nothing left to lose. Available for the first time in English, The Star of Algiers, a novel of great passion and originality, touches on the most contentious issues of our time.

A Lannan Translation Series Selection

Graywolf Press, 9781555974121, 304pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2005

About the Author

Aziz Chouaki has written two other novels in French, Les Oranges and Aigle. He was born in Algiers in 1951, but has lived in France since 1991 for political reasons.