While each narrative voice is unique, they all share a sense of loss.
A Country for Dying is more about atmosphere than plot. It is a brief, taut work that digs deep into the margins of society to demonstrate the many ways in which colonialism pollutes our notions of love and self.
Their stories read like monologues, and talk toward each other more than they ever intersect. Thus, while each narrative voice is unique, they all share a sense of loss.
A Country for Dying draws its strength from its haunting air of solitude. The weight of his heavy footsteps echoes in my ear. That was obvious immediately.
I would like seek talk and date who loves photography
Something in him was similar to me, familiar. Their bond never ceases to feel fragile, though, and it is clear that it will not last.
In the first part of the book, on the eve of her gender confirmation surgery, Zannouba is excited to recapture what she used to feel when her sisters dressed her up as a kid; she has long identified as female, and has come to Paris searching for the freedom to finally be herself. After surgery, while still confident in her decision, she finds herself mourning Aziz, the man she was raised as.
Like Zahira, she must come to terms with what she has lost:.
I wanted this operation. Brought it to fruition.
I thought of everything. But not of the essential: how to be a woman? I mean, beyond clothing and makeup, what is a woman?
Zahira also reminisces about the glimpses of Paris she and her father used to catch on television—images meant to inspire but also crush. You have to act out multiple roles, act them out perfectly in real life.
Some parts can be especially hard to play. The clients liked that, liked for me to smell like my home country, the savagery of the village, as they liked to say. Alyea Canada is an assistant editor at Asymptote and editor at Melville House.
She is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Deadline: June 1.