Ship of Fools

Cristina Peri Rossi, Author, Christine Peri Rossi, Author, Psiche Hughes, Translator Readers International $14.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-930523-54-1
Moroccan human rights activist, poet and novelist Laabi makes a stunning English-language debut with this account of his unexpected release from prison (following an international campaign mounted by Amnesty International and the French branch of PEN etc.) from prison after serving eight-and-a-half of a 10-year sentence for ``crimes of opinion.'' A mosaic of memoirs, letters and stories relates his journey back to freedom. His most powerful passages are missives to his wife, Jocelyne, whom he calls here Awdah, Arabic for ``return,'' and whose felt presence succors him throughout his incarceration. Perhaps to universalize his own experience, or to claim solidarity with political prisoners everywhere, Laabi describes his ordeal and recovery in the second person: ``You will have to learn to walk again. One step, then another, always forward, in a straight line. It will no longer be that round, that circling around. . . .'' Prison only reinforces his belief in the political merit of writing, his ``tragic privilege'': ``And you are called to tell and to keep on telling. . . . Like Scheherazade, `Write or be killed.' '' (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Open Ebook - 206 pages - 978-1-887378-12-3
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