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By Mathias Enard, translated by Charlotte Mandell
In Tangier, young Lakhdar finds himself homeless after being caught in flagrante with his cousin Meryem. As the political and religious tensions in the Mediterranean flare up with the Arab Spring and the global financial crisis, Lakhdar and his friend Bassam entertain dreams of emigration, fuelled by a desire for freedom and a better life. Part political thriller, part road-movie, part romance, the latest novel by Mathias Enard takes us from the violence of Tangier’s streets to Barcelona’s louche Raval quarter. Street of Thieves is an intense coming-of-age story that delves deep into the brutal realities of the immigrant experience.
Mathias Enard, born in 1972, studied Persian and Arabic and spent long periods in the Middle East. He has lived in Barcelona for about fifteen years, interrupted in 2013 by a writing residency in Berlin. He won several awards for Zone, including the Prix du Livre Inter and the Prix Décembre, and won the Liste Goncourt/Le Choix de l’Orient, the Prix littéraire de la Porte Dorée and the Prix du Roman-News for Street of Thieves. He won the 2015 Prix Goncourt, the 2017 Leipziger Book Award for European Understanding, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for Compass.
Charlotte Mandell has translated fiction, poetry, and philosophy from the French, including works by Proust, Flaubert, Genet, Maupassant, Blanchot, and many other distinguished authors. She has received many accolades and awards for her translations, including a Literature Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for Zone, also by Mathias Enard.