Uneasy trauma — 2 years ago
I am too close to the uneasy trauma of Hisham Mitar’s novel. The contours of my childhood intersect too fully with the quiet horror and psychic and physical wounds that his characters experience. And I was the lucky one, Ghana’s foray into horror was, truth be told, episodic. The special quality of life under Gaddafi was a pervasive, all-consuming horror if the state turned on you. The violence, the fear, the distrust, the mob… the violence again. It is too much. The perspective of the 9 year old child makes what takes place fraught and the spare writing captures the hallucinatory tinge. I couldn’t bear to read it, I couldn’t bear to put it down. Like one of the characters in the novel, I want to place a sheet over the mirror, I don’t want to see myself. Call me internally displaced, I’ve discovered the writings of an exiled soul.