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The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris

Leila Marouane
CATEGORIES: Sense of Culture

From A Year of Reading the World: “Having reached his fourth decade, Algerian-born banker Basile Tocquard, who ‘Frenchified’ his name as part of his attempts to shrug off North Africa and embrace Western culture, feels it is high time he moved out of his mother’s home and set himself up in a bachelor pad in the center of town. There, he envisages, he will quickly dispense with his virginity and embark on a sexual odyssey among the city’s Caucasian goddesses. He has reckoned without two things though: the powerful pull of his Islamic heritage and the barriers in his own head. In addition, Basile’s story is related by a contemptuous female narrator, who makes fine capital out of the gap between his fantasies and the reality. As the novel progresses and Basile becomes increasingly deluded and paranoid, she strips his ambitions bare, revealing the contradictions and hollowness within.”

(Recommended by Ann Morgan, author and TED speaker)

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