Join us

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Newsletter

Shukri Mabkhout

The Italian

Cover: The Italian - Shukri Mabkhout

Shukri Mabkhout

The Italian

2021, pp. 368, Paperback
ISBN: 9781787703179
Translated by: Miled Faiza, Karen McNeill
Region: Tunisia
Available as ebook Available as ebook Available as ebook
£ 12.99
Pre-order now Pre-order now Pre-order now

The book

Winner of the 2015 International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Abdel Nasser is “the Italian”, so nicknamed for his good looks. We first encounter him at his father’s funeral, when, in a burst of sudden, frenzied aggression he assaults the neighbourhood’s Imam.

The narrative that follows is an attempt to uncover the motivations behind the attack. It reconstructs Abdel’s troubled history, from childhood through his time as leader of the left-wing student movement, a movement whose dream of freedom and revolution will soon be caught and crushed between the growth of Islamism and the tyranny of the Tunisian state. Abdel’s own hopes will also come to nothing, his love story with the brilliant Zeina inevitably destined to fail, victim of rigidly sexist, ruthlessly corrupt societal norms. Ever more disillusioned, Abdel surrenders to compromise. He takes a job as a journalist with a state-controlled newspaper, where his independence will be taken away and censorship demand a humiliating toll, eventually causing his childhood demons to be unleashed.

Winner of the 2015 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, The Italian points emblematically to the failure of the Arab Spring, revealing mechanism of control and repression, and the fragility of human beings.

The author

Shukri Mabkhout
Shukri Mabkhout was born in Tunis in 1962. He is head of the Manouba University, and on the editorial board of several journals. He is the author of several works of literary criticism, this is his first novel.

More suggestions

  • Cover: The River Within - Karen Powell

    Karen Powell

    The River Within

    2021, pp. 272, £ 8.99
    A poignant novel about infatuation, class, and obligation.
  • Cover: Trust - Domenico Starnone

    Domenico Starnone

    Trust

    2021, pp. 144, £ 11.99
    A sharp, breath-taking exploration of love and relationships.
  • Cover: Transparent City - Ondjaki

    Ondjaki

    Transparent City

    2021, pp. 352, £ 12.99
    “A blend of stylised surrealism and harrowing realism."— LitHub
  • Cover: The Night Will Be Long - Santiago Gamboa

    Santiago Gamboa

    The Night Will Be Long

    2021, pp. 368, £ 13.99
    An addictive and nuanced narrative about conflict-rife Colombia.
  • Cover: What Happens at Night - Peter Cameron

    Peter Cameron

    What Happens at Night

    2021, pp. 320, £ 12.99
    An unforgettable novel about marriage, life, love, and their loss.
  • Cover: No Touching - Ketty Rouf

    Ketty Rouf

    No Touching

    2021, pp. 172, £ 12.99
    A moving story of liberation that shatters tired prejudices about womanhood, sex, and society.