Ibrahim Al-Koni (2581 words)

Charis Olszok (University of Cambridge)
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Over the past thirty years, Ibrahim al-Koni, also known as al-Kawni, has forged the art of the desert novel. One of the most prolific writers in Arabic today, he has penned over forty novels and collections of short stories. The vast majority of these are set in the wider Sahara, among al-Koni’s native Tuareg, a nomadic, pastoral people, dwelling between Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. Traditionally envisioned as a transitory, barren space, the desert becomes the centre of meaning in al-Koni’s oeuvre and an allegory for human existence, itself envisioned as a solitary, interstitial state. Devoid of the basic necessities of life, the desert is a metaphorical zone, what al-Koni calls “the shadow of …

Citation: Olszok, Charis. "Ibrahim Al-Koni". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 January 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=13307, accessed 30 July 2021.]

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