By Ibrahim al-Koni.
AUC Press, 2022.
Although now one of the most acclaimed writers in the Arabic world, Ibrahim al-Koni spent his earliest years completely immersed in the language and stories of Tuareg oral culture—a historically nomadic Berber tribe in northwest Libya. In fact, he was 12 before he learned to read and write in Arabic. After studying comparative literature at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow, although al-Koni worked as a journalist based in Moscow then Warsaw, his own writing remained locked on the undulating sands of his native land, a passion that has produced more than 80 books, including his most recent novel, The Night Will Have Its Say. With this third novel placed during the Muslim conquest of North Africa in the seventh century CE, written from the perspective of the conquered, he once again returns to the desert that has remained his spiritual home despite having moved to Europe in the 1990s.