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A Pebble In The River

Tuesday 13 October 2015, author(s)-editor(s) Noufel Bouzeboudja

Akli is an old man now. He is in prison. It is from there that he begins telling his story of the colonisation of Northern Africa. Of his village especially, Thadarth. It is a narrative of revolution, war, torture, dispossession, corruption, intolerance, betrayal, terrorism, religious extremism but, above all, resistance. A narrative of inevitability and loss. The loss of faith in a higher power. The loss of those closest to him, which he would endlessly try, in vain, to prevent since his adolescence. He would forever carry the burden of their death and absence, the regret of not having been able to protect them, to be with them. This forged him into a cynic, a man without hope for a better future, a man who wishes for death every day that passes. But his is also a story of love. Unconditional. Pure love. The ineffable kind which he has for his country, his land, the mountains, his family, his friends, his people.

A story of his life’s first love, Martine, daughter to the French settler, Fino, who left him with a lot of frustrations but also good remembrances. If his story begins in gloom, it is one through which secretly, intimately and ultimately runs the thread of hope. Hope because he is released from prison at the time of the narration. Hope that his daughter, Zira, the fruit of the rape of his wife by terrorists, brings back into his life. It is a story about the persistence of beauty, of good and goodness, even in the face of chaos. It is a story about truth. His truth. Eternal even when obscured. No man can be broken badly enough to not feel love, to not see and enjoy beauty. No man can tear the world apart so much that love and beauty no longer exist. Once this truth is accepted, however chaotic or scary the outside world can be, peace can be found. Peace within one’s own being. Peace which Akli finds too.

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ISBN 9789956762170
Pages 256
Dimensions 216 x 140mm
Published 2015
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback