Author: Jelloun, Tahar Ben
Publisher: New Press

  • From the winner of the 2004 Impac Prize, a classic story of friendship and betrayal
  • “Tahar Ben Jelloun is a remarkable novelist…The writing is simple and direct. Every sentence is telling. It makes you think and feel at the same time. Read it. There is nothing tricksy about it, nothing pretentious. It is that most satisfying of things: a true fiction.”-The Scotsman, 11 February 2006

The Last Friend, the new novel from internationally acclaimed author Tahar Ben Jelloun, is a Rashamon-like tale of friendship and betrayal set in 20th century Tangier. Written in Ben Jelloun’s inimitable and powerfully direct style, the novel explores the twists and turns of an intense thirty-year friendship between two young men struggling to find their identities and sexual fulfillment in Morocco in the late 1950s, a complex and contradictory society both modern and archaic.

From their carefree university days through their brutal imprisonment and ultimate release, the two rely on each other for physical and psychological survival, forging bonds not easily broken. Each narrator tells his version of the story, painting a vivid portrait of life lived within and against the moral strictures of North Africa.

Set against a backdrop of the repression and disillusionment The Last Friend is a tale of loss of innocence and a nation’s coming of age.

Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in 1944 in Fez, Morocco, and emigrated to France in 1961. He is one of North Africa’s foremost novelists. His novels include The Sacred Night which received the Prix Goncourt in 1987 and Corruption.

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