Desert is the first book I have read by Le Clezio and it has become a book that excites me. I must say it is foreign to me in everything from its characters to its language. Le Clezio’s style makes you feel that you are reading a unique author.
Le Clezio will introduce you to Nour and Lalla, skillfully telling two different stories in the same book. You will walk in the desert with Nur and see heat, death and hunger. As you read about the strength that people find in each other and how hope gradually fades, you will both be upset and angry.
The way you look at those who are not part of the so-called modern world will require a lot of thought.
With Lalla, you will rediscover nature, fall in love with Hartani and escape from home and find yourself in Marseille. While cleaning the hotel, you will instantly become a photo model, but you will still see what it means not to lose anything from your self. Lalla will be a character that will impress you very much. If you are looking for a Nobel Prize-winning author and ask for a slightly different style, Le Clezio might be for you. Get ready to roast in the deserts and hide among the streets. Enjoy!
Young Nour is a North African desert tribesman. It is 1909, and as the First World War looms Nour’s tribe – the Blue Men – are forced from their lands by French colonial invaders. Spurred on by thirst, hunger, suffering, they seek guidance from a great spiritual leader. The holy man sends them even further from home, on an epic journey northward in the hope of finding land in which they can again be free.
Decades later, an orphaned descendant of the Blue Men. A girl called Lalla – is living in a shantytown on the coast of Morocco. Lalla has inherited both the pride and the resilience of her tribe. And she will need them, as she makes a bid to escape her forced marriage to a wealthy older man. She flees to Marseilles, where she experiences both the hardships of immigrant life. As a hotel maid – and the material prosperity of those who succeed – when she becomes a successful model.
And yet Lalla does not betray the legacy of her ancestors. In these two narratives set in counterpoint, Nobel Prize-winning novelist J M G Le Clezio tells – powerfully and movingly – the story of the ‘last free men’ and of Europe’s colonial legacy. A story of war and exile and of the endurance of the human spirit.
Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, usually identified as J. M. G. Le Clézio, of French and Mauritian nationality, is a writer and professor.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: