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The Child of the Ancient People by Anouar Benmalek

The Child of the Ancient People

Historical Fiction   Literary Fiction   
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A powerful historical novel of three very different people thrown together on a voyage in 1872, from Europe to Australia. Brutal, sensual and moving, if you liked Star of the Seayou should read this.


The Child of the Ancient People by Anouar Benmalek

It is 1872. Lislei is a young French woman escaping from the bloody turmoil of the Paris commune; Kader is an Arab prince fleeing from the revolt of the Saharan tribesmen in Algeria. Together they succeed in boarding an old sailing ship bound for Australia. With them, on board ship, is Tridarir, an orphan, who is the last representative of his people, the Tasmanian Aboriginals. Set against the backdrop of British colonial expansion, Benmalek masterfully reveals the international upheavals of the nineteenth-century.

From disorder in France to the bright open shores of Australia this is an epic novel of passion and high adventure culminating in a deeply moving and extraordinary love story.


This novel raises interesting questions about Tasmanian history and the nature of identity and race... a work of fiction concerned with putting flesh on the bare bones of history, and it does this excellently * Scotland on Sunday * Skilfully and subtly, Benmalek articulates a seething outrage at humanity's capacity for brutality * The Times * This epic tale is relayed with clarity and deeply felt passion * Glasgow Herald * The product of a wide-ranging literary imagination * Literary Review * Benmalek uses his talent to root passionate love stories within a context of terror, defusing the violence of our century by contrasting it with a dazzling sensual and universal romantic power * Le Monde *

About the Author

Anouar Benmalek
Anouar Benmalek was born in Casablanca in 1956 and is one of Algeria's most respected Writers. After the 1988 riots in protest at government policies, he became one of the founders of the Algerian Committee against Torture.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th November 2004


Anouar Benmalek

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256 pages


Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction

Historical fiction



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