Men Don't Cry
by Faïza Guène
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 19 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 13 Aug 2021
Cassava Republic, Cassava Republic Press
Is it possible to make your own path in the world while upholding your family legacy? That's the question at the heart of this tender and poignant coming-of-age story from the widely-acclaimed author of Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow.
Born in Nice to Algerian parents, Mourad is fuelled by the desire to forge his own destiny. His retired father spends his days fixing up things in the backyard; his mother, bemoaning the loss of her natal village in North Africa. Mourad lives in fear of becoming an overweight bachelor with salt and pepper hair, living off his mother's cooking. When Mourad’s father has a stroke, he makes his son promise to reconcile things with his estranged sister Dounia, a staunch feminist and aspiring politician, who had always felt constrained living at home. Now living in the Paris suburbs himself, Mourad tracks down Dounia and battles to span the gulf separating her and the rest of the family.
'It's not an exaggeration to suggest that Guene is doing for the people, especially the youth, of the banlieu what James Kelman and Agnes Owens have done for the deprived of Glasgow's housing schemes: that is, give a voice to those who have been excluded from literature ... Guene is very evidently a natural novelist, a young writer of real talent' - Allan Massie * Scotsman *
Super-young, super-cool and fast becoming known as one of the hottest literary talents of multicultural Europe, Guene takes us on a tour of tough suburbs of Paris and Algeria, where having the wrong-colour passport sentences you to half-life. Our home ... is an unforgettable narrator.
'It's sad, it's funny, it's stuffed full of talent.'
Not since director Matthieu Kassovitz's 1995 hit film La Haine has there been such a compelling portrait of the Parisian suburbs ... but unlike Kassovitz's bleak movie, Guene's book is uplifting and ultimately optimistic.
'One of the most exciting novelists to emerge in recent years'