A RARE PERSPECTIVE: Reading Khalil’s first-person narrative offers American readers a peek into a mind and heart we rarely ever have a chance to contemplate. He’s presented as an ordinary person who’s been pushed too far—not so much by religious fanaticism as by the psychological, social, political, and cultural conditions in which he lives: by racism, poverty, helplessness, societal rage, and general resentment. It’s a moving and revealing portrait.
KHADRA GOES WHERE OTHERS DARE NOT: Khalil is a masterly and chilling look at radicalization and violence and their effects on ordinary people. Like Khadra’s previous novels, it’s a powerful exploration of the depths of human nature and shows that, even in the most horrific circumstances, good can prevail.
MAJOR BESTSELLER IN FRANCE: Éditions Robert Laffont quickly sold more than 100,000 copies during the fall of 2018.
“Direct and irresistible… This novel is both timely and, sadly, timeless. In examining the anatomy of radicalism, Khadra shows that all forms of extremism, whether political, religious or otherwise, stem from the same source: a refusal to see things from an opposing point of view. For Khalil and many others who feel called to commit atrocities in the name of a higher cause, the outcome is only tragedy.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Khadra…skillfully shows how someone like Khalil can be turned into a terrorist from a young age. With Khalil’s fate—and those of countless potential victims—perpetually hanging in the balance, the book becomes a gripping existential inquiry that earns the author comparisons with Camus. An exciting work of fiction rooted in docu-like reality.”
“Award-winning Yasmina Khadra has penned another fast-paced, thought-provoking and immersive story within a ravishing novel. Khalil tackles the blurry moral edges of agency, right and wrong, guilt, as well as coming to terms with choices and mistakes. Can control of one’s life ever be regained once it has set on a seemingly irreversible course? There is a degree of unsettling intimacy in Khalil’s writing.”
—Asian Review of Books
“[Khadra] succeeds…in addressing the statelessness many first generations feel, in which neither conformity nor diversity is rewarded. The systemic contempt of these communities erodes any possibility of hope, and this is a form of violence too.”
—The Daily Beast
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