The challenge, as well as the potential delight, in reading a novel originally written in a language other than one's own, is becoming accustomed to the flow of the writing as it relates to the traditions of the country of origin. Especially if, like myself, the reader speaks and reads only English - differences in culture, conversational quirks, viewpoints about gender, work, money, and even romance take some getting used to. Amara Lakhous, author of Divorce Islamic Style, was born in Algeria, speaks fluent Arabic, but lives in Italy and writes in Italian. While his novel has no particular literary pretense, it is a sparkling political satire set amidst a pseudo-thriller.
In alternating chapters, Christian and Sofia relate this contemporary tale. Christian, having been whisked away by the Italian Secret Service from his job as an Italian/Arabic court translator, is posing as an ...
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