The Hospital by Ahmed Bouanani

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Nothing ever becomes quite clear in the narrator’s experience but rather remains murkily allegorical. Whatever else it may be, the hospital is definitely a microcosm of suffering humanity...A puzzling but haunting novel.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A tour de force: an utterly singular modern Moroccan classic

“When I walked through the large iron gate of the hospital, I must have still been alive…” So begins Ahmed Bouanani’s arresting, hallucinatory 1989 novel The Hospital, appearing for the first time in English translation. Based on Bouanani’s own experiences as a tuberculosis patient, the hospital begins to feel increasingly like a prison or a strange nightmare: the living resemble the dead; bureaucratic angels of death descend to direct traffic, claiming the lives of a motley cast of inmates one by one; childhood memories and fantasies of resurrection flash in and out of the narrator’s consciousness as the hospital transforms before his eyes into an eerie, metaphorical space. Somewhere along the way, the hospital’s iron gate disappears.

Like Sadegh Hedayat’s The Blind Owl, the works of Franz Kafka―or perhaps like Mann’s The Magic Mountain thrown into a meat-grinder―The Hospital is a nosedive into the realms of the imagination, in which a journey to nowhere in particular leads to the most shocking places.

 

About Ahmed Bouanani

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Published June 26, 2018 by New Directions. 128 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 03 2018

Nothing ever becomes quite clear in the narrator’s experience but rather remains murkily allegorical. Whatever else it may be, the hospital is definitely a microcosm of suffering humanity...A puzzling but haunting novel.

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