The Scarecrow

Ibrahim al-Koni
Translated byWilliam M. Hutchins

The Scarecrow is the final volume of Ibrahim al-Koni’s desert trilogy, which chronicles the founding, flourishing, and decline of a Saharan oasis. F

English edition
128 pp.
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774167447
For sale only in the Middle East

$18.95

The Scarecrow is the final volume of Ibrahim al-Koni’s desert trilogy, which chronicles the founding, flourishing, and decline of a Saharan oasis. Fittingly, this continuation of a tale of greed and corruption opens with a meeting of the conspirators who assassinated the community’s leader at the end of the previous novel, The Puppet. They punished him for opposing the use of gold in business transactions—a symptom of a critical break with their nomadic past—and now they must search for a leader who shares their fetishistic love of gold. A desert retreat inspires the group to select a leader at random, but their choice, it appears, is not entirely human. This interloper from the spirit world proves a self-righteous despot, whose intolerance of humanity presages disaster for an oasis besieged by an international alliance. Though al-Koni has repeatedly stressed that he is not a political author, readers may see parallels not only to a former Libyan ruler but to other tyrants—past and present—who appear as hollow as a scarecrow.

Ibrahim al-Koni

Ibrahim al-Koni, was born in Libya in 1948. A Tuareg who writes in Arabic, he spent his childhood in the desert and learned to read and write Arabic when he was twelve. His novels Anubis (2005), Gold Dust (2008), and The Seven Veils of Seth (2009) were published by the American University in Cairo Press, and another novel, The Bleeding of the Stone, has also appeared in English. In 2008 he received the Sheikh Zayed Prize for Literature for his novel Nida’ ma kan ba‘idan (Calling the distant)..In 2010, he received in Cairo the Arab Novel Award and dedicated the value of the prize to the children of the Tuareg tribes from which he originally hails. William M. Hutchins, professor in the Philosophy and Religion Department at Appalachian State University, is the translator of Ibrahim al-Koni’s Anubis (AUC Press, 2005).
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