The Bookseller's Notebooks: A Novel by Jalal Barjas, Translated by Paul G. Starkey
After losing his job and refuge, Ibrahim al-Warraq, a bookseller, decides to live with the homeless people in his city and assuming the identities of the heroes of the novels he has read.
Winner of the 2021 International Prize for Arabic Fiction--known as the "Arabic Booker Prize"-- this novel explores themes of loneliness, homelessness, and mental illness.
As events unfold, Barjas opens up many surprises for his reader, illustrating through his flawed characters the ruined state and complete emptiness of the world. In intensely poetic language, he throws light on a totally schizophrenic reality in his country, and brilliantly uses all the tools of emotional stress and engagement and of psychological exploration of human behavior that narration necessitates.