WINNER OF THE NAGUIB MAHFOUZ MEDAL FOR LITERATURE
A “spare, well-crafted and compelling” (Samah Selim) novel in which a man in Algiers disappears without trace and the detective in search of him finds more than he expected
In Rouiba, a nondescript suburb of Algiers, an unnamed man with a troubled past escapes his everyday life to find himself caring for an old man with dementia. When the man dies, the carer disappears into thin air. A police detective is assigned to investigate the circumstances of the old man’s demise and to track down the caretaker, only to find that the unnamed man cannot be identified-that there is no trace of Mr. Nobody. The officer’s search leads him to those whose paths once crossed Mr. Nobody’s. In each of them he finds a reflection of the man he is looking for.
A raw, lyrical portrait of life on the margins in contemporary Algiers, this haunting noir captures an underworld of police informers, shady imams, bootleg beer traders, and grave robbers, and reverberates with echoes of Algeria’s violent past.