This Tilting World by Colette Fellous
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Translator: Sophie Lewis
On the night following the terrorist attack that killed eighty-three tourists on the beach at Sousse, a woman sits facing the sea and writes a complicated love letter to her homeland, Tunisia, which she feels she must leave forever. She also writes of her personal tragedies―the deaths of her father, a quiet man, and of another lifelong friend, who just weeks ago died at sea, having forsaken the writing that had given his life meaning.
Part of a trilogy on the history of Tunisia’s Jewish community, Fellous’s story nods to Proust and encompasses a multitude of colorful portraits, sweeping readers onto a lyrical journey from Tunisia to Paris to a Flaubertian village in Normandy, full of the voices of loved ones now silent.
Written with echoes of Roland Barthes’s gorgeous fragmentary texts, such as A Lover’s Discourse and Camera Lucida, Fellous’s creative memoir is at once a political and cultural portrait of a region that has sat at the center of world history for millennia, as well as a search into her own memory, emotions, and family history.
Year first published: 2019