Fiction. Literary Nonfiction. Translated by Peter Thompson. In 1970, Nabile Farès was asked to interview James Baldwin for Jeune Afrique magazine, an experience which set in motion A PASSENGER FROM THE WEST. What begins in this book as an interview with Baldwin confronting the history of Black America leads Farès into a journey through his own past. Vivid encounters in France and Spain connect with Farès's remembrances of his native Algeria, its war for independence, and the traumatizing effect it had on him as a child. The original Jeune Afrique interview with Baldwin is included as an appendix to the novel.
"It is Farès's unique sensitivity to the power of allegory that gives his work its distinctive place in Maghrebi literature. His work marks a turning point and foreshadows the tragedy to come in Algeria."—Réda Bensmaïa, Brown University
"Here, in this unique, multicultural space, Farès engages the diverse complexities of our globalized age before we even knew they existed."—Valérie K. Orlando, University of Maryland
Peter is Professor of Modern Languages and Literature at Roger Williams University. He edits Ezra: An Online Journal of Translation, founded in 2007. Besides Angle of Incidence/Shades (Diálogos, 2012), his books include Daybreak and New Words, (song lyrics, 1996, 1998). More recently he has translated Léon-Paul Fargue's Poèmes (2003), Véronique Tadjo's first book of poetry, Red Earth, (2006), along with Nabile Farès's Escuchando tu historia (2008), Un Passager de l'Occident (2010), L'Exil et le désarroi (2012) and Nassira Azzouz's The Gates of The Sun (2010). His translation of Tchicaya u Tam'si's THE BELLY (Dialogos / Lavender Ink) -the first full-length translation of Tchicaya's poetry-appears in 2014.
Nabile Farès, ethnologist, philosopher, dramaturge, poet, novelist and psychoanalyst was born in Collo (Kabylia peninsula, Algeria) in 1940. Thus he was a teenager at the time of the student demonstrations and the reciprocal massacres (French forces and settlers versus the Algerians) which began the Algerian War (the war of independence, 1954-62). Farès's father sent him to France to study—and to be safe. Nabile was one of the few Algerian students in Paris to choose to return to the struggle. He was on the east side of the Tunisian border—where FLN (National Liberation Front and their army) camps operated—when the war ended. Many Algerian writers saw the next years—eventually spanning decades—as a disappointment, and then a betrayal. It is this betrayal that haunts the trilogy of novels that form the core of Farès' work, DISCOVERY OF THE NEW WORLD (Dialogos, 2021). He is also the author of A PASSENGER FROM THE WEST (Dialogos / Lavender Ink, 2018) and EXILE: WOMEN'S TURN (Dialogos / Lavender Ink, 2017). He died in Paris in 2016.Author City: PARIS ALG