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The Hospital: Book summary and reviews of The Hospital by Ahmed Bouanani

The Hospital

by Ahmed Bouanani

The Hospital by Ahmed Bouanani X
The Hospital by Ahmed Bouanani
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2018
    128 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A tour de force: an utterly singular modern Moroccan classic.

"When I walked through the large iron gate of the hospital, I must have still been alive…" So begins Ahmed Bouanani's arresting, hallucinatory 1989 novel The Hospital, appearing for the first time in English translation. Based on Bouanani's own experiences as a tuberculosis patient, the hospital begins to feel increasingly like a prison or a strange nightmare: the living resemble the dead; bureaucratic angels of death descend to direct traffic, claiming the lives of a motley cast of inmates one by one; childhood memories and fantasies of resurrection flash in and out of the narrator's consciousness as the hospital transforms before his eyes into an eerie, metaphorical space. Somewhere along the way, the hospital's iron gate disappears.

Like Sadegh Hedayat's The Blind Owl, the works of Franz Kafka - or perhaps like Mann's The Magic Mountain thrown into a meat-grinder - The Hospital is a nosedive into the realms of the imagination, in which a journey to nowhere in particular leads to the most shocking places.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The layers of metaphor and surreal imagery create a atmospheric, unresolved tension for fans of compressed, unsettling narratives." - Publishers Weekly

"A puzzling but haunting novel." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Ahmed Bouanani

Ahmed Bouanani (1938–2011) was a writer, poet, illustrator, filmmaker, and an important figure in the Moroccan literary and artistic scene. His novel The Hospital, was first published in 1990 and fell into obscurity until it was republished in France in 2012 to great critical acclaim.

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