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Abdellah Taia (b. 1973) is the first openly gay autobiographical writer published in Morocco. Though Moroccan, he lives in Paris. He is the author of Mon Maroc and Le rouge du tarbouche, both translated into Dutch and Spanish, and Salvation Army (published by Semiotext(e) in English in 2009). He also appeared in Remi Lange's 2004 film Tarik el Hob (released in English as The Road to Love).
This slim autobiographical novel by an openly gay man who lives between cultures in Egypt and France is the kind of wry, reflective narrative prose that feels like poetry. Beautiful. * Advocate * This is honest writing from a marginalized position. It leaves with its readers an insistence that through everything there is always something else that follows. It's neither a hesitant optimism nor a beaten-down acceptance.... It's something else, something more human. The weight of the world cannot be taken on as the Sisyphean boulder, but rather we have to just forget about the world and make sure we're moving forward. * HTML Giant * Taia writes from within a distinctly different Arab culture in this passionate novel about two worlds intersecting. * Pridesource: Between the Lines * Melancholia offers a view into the life of a man still very much in the making, a man still searching for love and answers. At one point, he wonders, 'How are you supposed to go on living when you're totally entangled in the sad, bitter, exciting memory of someone who didn't love you back?' It is a question that cuts across gender, sexual orientation, culture, and time-and stumps anyone unfortunate enough to find himself in its path. * Words Without Borders * There is light and space in his prose. And despair. At times, he uses the ellipsis suggestively...bringing out the apertures within and between words and thoughts, eliciting the unbridgeable gap between individuals. That is where desire seems to lie, and where belongingâ and melancholiaâ is to be found in his writing. * Bookforum * Taia writes from within a distinctly different Arab culture in this passionate novel about two worlds intersecting. * Pridesource: Between the Lines *