The Man Who Snapped His Fingers (Paperback)
Europa Editions, 9781609453060, 144pp.
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
She was known as "Bait 455," the most famous prisoner in a ruthless theological republic. He was one of the colonels closest to the Supreme Commander. When they meet, years later, far from their country of birth, a strange, equivocal relationship develops between them. Both their shared past of suffering and old romantic passions come rushing back accompanied by recollections of the perverse logic of violence that dominated the dictatorship under which they lived.
Winner of the 2001 French Human Rights Prize, French-Iranian author Fariba Hachtroudi's English-language debut explores themes as old as time: the crushing effects of totalitarianism and the infinite power of love.
About the Author
Alison Anderson's translations for Europa Editions include novels by Sélim Nassib, Amélie Nothomb, and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. She is the translator of The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa, 2008) and The Life of the Elves (Europa, 2016) by Muriel Barbery.
Praise For The Man Who Snapped His Fingers…
"The story leaves us chilled by the tyrannical culture that created this macabre bond. But at the end, it's just as much a tale of the capacity of love."
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“…a profound, exquisitely crafted novella about life under a merciless regime, about torture and resilience, truth and culpability and the triumph of love over fear.”
—The Independent (UK)
"Tightly plotted, this fierce literary thriller packs complex emotions in a small space, tackling difficult and essential questions about power and our responsibilities to one another."
"Hachtroudi's book...is timeless in its meditations on totalitarianism and the toll it takes on even those who physically escape its clutches.”
—ShelfAwareness (Starred Review)
"An astonishing novel—powerful, captivating, and unforgettable."
—PAGE des libraires
"The Man Who Snapped His Fingers is an ode to the mysteries that we all carry within ourselves."
"An intimately told thriller of sorts. Clever use of flashbacks sets in motion two alternating narratives...This novel, full of conviction, powerfully dramatizes the tragedy of dictatorships and the unpredictable tenacity of human sentiments."
—Le Monde des livres
"Hachtroudi enchants her readers with this rich work that is at once a love story and a political tale."