Cover image for The bleeding of the stone
Title:
The bleeding of the stone
Author:
Kūnī, Ibrāhīm.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Nazīf al-ḥajar. English
Publication Information:
New York : Interlink Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
136 pages ; 21 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781566564175
Format :
Book

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Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

The moufflon, a wild sheep prized for its meat, continues to survive in the remote mountain desert of southern Libya. Only Asouf, a lone bedouin who cherishes the desert and identifies with its creatures, knows exactly where it is to be found. Now he and the moufflon together come under threat from hunters who have already slaughtered the once numerous desert gazelles. The novel combines pertinent ecological issues with a moving portrayal of traditional desert life and of the power of the human spirit to resist.


Author Notes

The moufflon, a wild sheep prized for its meat, continues to survive in the remote mountain desert of southern Libya. Only Asouf, a lone bedouin who cherishes the desert and identifies with its creatures, knows exactly where it is to be found. Now he and the moufflon together come under threat from hunters who have already slaughtered the once numerous desert gazelles. The novel combines pertinent ecological issues with a moving portrayal of traditional desert life and of the power of the human spirit to resist.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In the mountainous desert region of south Libya lives the legendary moufflon, a wild sheep whose meat is highly valued. Countless hunters search for the moufflon, but only Asouf, a solitary bedouin living in the desert, knows where the animals hide. When two foreign hunters (who have already decimated the once-thriving gazelle population) order Asouf to show them the moufflon, he resists out of reverence for the desert and its creatures. Asouf has cut himself off from humanity--believing, like his father, that "people eat people" --and his encounters with the hunters do nothing to change his mind. But a price must be paid for shunning human contact, and the true quest, the author suggests, is to find a balance. Al-Koni, Libya's best-known novelist, demonstrates his signature version of magic realism in this moving short novel, ably blending reality, fantasy, and mysticism. Readers of Garcia Marquez and Allende will want to know about al-Koni. --Beth Warrell


Choice Review

Al-Koni's novel affirms humankind's affinity with creatures of the earth and asserts that their wanton slaughter to satisfy a meat hunger both upsets the delicate ecological balance and violates a sacred order existent between humans and their habitat, signified by the waddan, the oldest animal in the Sahara. Afflicted with meat hunger, the Bedouin protagonist of this novel almost single-handedly renders extinct the gazelles of the Hamada; at the end of the novel, he is on the hunt for the sacred waddan believed to dwell in his late father. The novel is suffused with the traditions of the Sufi and Sufism, which the author describes as "actually closer to Buddhism" because of belief in the mergence of man and creature as prerequisite to union with God. Readers may experience some difficulty with the novel's time compression--e.g., a three-year time span within a single chapter--and multiple narrative shifts. But the novel is evocative of the Sahara and a suitable addition to large collections of world literature in translation. T. L. Jackson St. Cloud State University


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