Libya, 1979. Nine-year-old Suleiman s days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood: outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli, games with friends played under the burning sun, exotic gifts from his father s constant business trips abroad. But his nights have come to revolve around his mother s increasingly disturbing bedside stories full of old family bitterness. And then one day Suleiman sees his father across the square of a busy marketplace, his face wrapped in a pair of dark sunglasses. Wasn t he supposed to be away on business yet again? Why is he going into that strange building with the green shutters? Why did he lie?
Suleiman is soon caught up in a world he cannot hope to understand where the sound of the telephone ringing becomes a portent of grave danger; where his mother frantically burns his father s cherished books; where a stranger full of sinister questions sits outside in a parked car all day; where his best friend s father can disappear overnight, next to be seen publicly interrogated on state television. In the Country of Men
is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the private fallout of a public nightmare. But above all, it is a debut of rare insight and literary grace.
From the Hardcover edition."