The Earthquake

Tahir Wattar


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Saqi Books
6 February 2024
ISBN: 9780863569630
208 pages

From the publisher

Translated by William Granara

One afternoon, Sheikh Abdelmajid Boularwah embarks upon a journey in search of distant relatives. His immediate family are ruthless, rich and collaborate with colonial authorities. He hopes his long-lost relatives, who are unknown to the new Communist government, might be better placed to help him defraud it.

Through a labyrinth of back alleys and memories, Boularwah makes his way from Algiers across the seven bridges of Constantine, battling the forces of a rapidly changing society while confronting the demons of his own past.

The Earthquake offers a surrealist vision of post-colonial Algeria — a society in chaos, a world turned upside down. Written in the early 1970s, this classic work by pioneering novelist Tahir Wattar presciently foretells the dreadful events which would later besiege his country.