The Colonial Conquest (Hardcover)

The Confines of the Shadow Volume I

By Alessandro Spina, Andre Naffis-Sahely (Translator)

Arcade Publishing, 9781628728354, 288pp.

Publication Date: January 23, 2018

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Description

The Colonial Conquest is the first volume of Alessandro Spina's epic, The Confines of the Shadow, a sequence of novels and short stories that map the transformation of Libya, particularly the coastal city of Benghazi, under the pressure of Italian colonization.

This volume is divided into three sections--The Young Maronite, The Marriage of Omar and The Nocturnal Visitor--which are set between 1912 and 1927. At its outset we find Italian soldiers solidifying their control over Libya's coasts, leaving Libyan rebels to withdraw to the desert and prepare for a war that would rage for over a decade. The readers is then led to explore the divided Libya of the 1920s, when an Italian governor ruled from Benghazi while Sidi Idris al-Senussi, the head of the Senussi dynasty and future Libyan king, governed from Ajdabiya. Voices from all sides bicker over whether to reconcile or fight, though many simply try to make space for whatever small pleasures life amidst political upheaval might allow.

Employing a cosmopolitan array of characters, ranging from Ottoman functionaries, to Libyan aristocrats and Italian officers, Spina chronicles the colonial experience in Libya with breadth and feeling. Distinguished by an intimate understanding of East and West, this work and its companion volumes comprise among the most significant achievements of 20th century fiction and stand unchallenged as the only multi-generational epic about the European experience in North Africa.

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