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Salvation Army

by Abdellah Taïa

This quick, easy-to-read story of a young gay man’s childhood in North Africa and student life in Switzerland is gentle, moving, and not as explicit as you might think. This autobiographical novel, by Morocco’s first openly gay author, describes relationships beautifully - from family bonds to passionate romance and casual liaisons. The brevity of the book made me sad - I would have loved it to be longer.

Extract

My brother's body was there in front of me all afternoon. I scrutinized it, studied it from head to toe with the great care of a scientist dwelling on every detail. The slender nose. The big eyes. The bushy eyebrows. The thick hair .... All afternoon, I swam inside the unconscious body, that couldn't know how it was entertaining me. This body that is a part of myself and, at the same time, is another self.
Translated by Frank Stock

Parallels

The Lemon by Mohammed M'Rabet
A Boy's Own Story by Edmund White
Leaving Tangier by Tahir Ben Jelloun
 

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