Review: Whitefly

Whitefly: A Novel

By Abdelilah Hamdouchi; translated by Jonathan Smolin

The American University in Cairo Press

144 pp.

Reviewed by AA Bastian

December 3, 2016

Detective Laafrit is trying to quit. Will sucking lozenges keep him from smoking while he searches for the murderer of four Moroccans washed ashore near Tangier’s coastline? The case takes on international proportions as ties between the murdered men and intrigues in Spain emerge.

Whitefly opens with youth protesting illegally for jobs, a parallel to Laafrit’s activist youth. He must defuse the situation to save the students from the retribution of the Moroccan police force, famed for torturing their captured….

Read the full review here.

 

Review: A Rare Blue Bird Flies with Me

Feel through the darkness with Aziz, who is being held in detention; bits of cloth, a nail, a spattering of blood, a bone. He lies imprisoned in a kitchen awaiting his own death amidst the rot of others who have passed before him….

Check out my latest book review at the Washington Independent Review of Books 11/11/16:

http://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/bookreview/a-rare-blue-bird-flies-with-me-a-novel

City of Writes

A literary friend bans the mere mention of career and the two-fingered clasp of that must-carry calling card. A self-proclaimed “New Yorker in exile,” she hosted a dinner party for artists in Washington, DC. She abhors the city’s drabness and its dark-suit-wearing crowd of lawyers who represent a place in which she’s endured far too many so-what-do-you-do’s?

She’s not the only disgruntled literary New Yorker I’ve met in DC, but I can’t relate….

 

Here is my new feature published in the Washington Independent Review of Books published on 2 Oct 2016 with a personal profile of the writing community of Washington, DC, and my own work on the Thai-Mormon narrative history I am writing.

 

http://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/features/city-of-writes

Review: The Televangelist

Ibrahim Essa’s new novel, The Televangelist, is a powerful commentary on Islam in modern Egypt with deep insight for Westerners. Nothing is what it seems. The last few pages of the book will surprise you so much you’ll want to read them again to see how it all plays out.

Sheik Hatem is a televangelist for a popular call-in show based in Cairo. When he is tasked with turning a high-profile leader’s son back from his conversion to Christianity, he finds himself in the middle of a high-stakes mission that risks his position with the state in its tight control over religious media. Due to his prestige and willingness to engage his fans in an approachable way, he becomes the reader’s intermediary in a complex Islamic context…

 

Here is my review of The Televangelist published at the Washington Independent Review of Books on 27 September 2016:

http://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/bookreview/the-televangelist-a-novel

Review: The Castaway’s War

Check out my most recent review at the Washington Independent Review of Bookshttp://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/bookreview/the-castaways-war-one-mans-battle-against-imperial-japanscreen-shot-2016-09-08-at-11-37-11-am