Cousin K

Overview

“Such was the battle that raged between Cousin K and me: good done badly; evil done well.” And such is the twisted logic of good and bad, right and wrong, knitted into this novella by one of the most powerful voices to emerge from North Africa in our time. With his father brutally killed as a traitor during a national liberation war and his older brother an army officer far away, the young narrator lives reclusively with his mother, who scorns him. He turns to his young cousin for affection, only to be mocked and humiliated so deeply that his ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $3.51   
  • New (8) from $9.73   
  • Used (10) from $3.51   
Sending request ...

Overview

“Such was the battle that raged between Cousin K and me: good done badly; evil done well.” And such is the twisted logic of good and bad, right and wrong, knitted into this novella by one of the most powerful voices to emerge from North Africa in our time. With his father brutally killed as a traitor during a national liberation war and his older brother an army officer far away, the young narrator lives reclusively with his mother, who scorns him. He turns to his young cousin for affection, only to be mocked and humiliated so deeply that his love becomes hopelessly entangled with hatred. 

Fate places a young woman in the narrator’s path when he rescues her from a violent attack, and the reawakening of his confused passions proceeds toward terrible vengeance. In this nameless narrator’s tormented reflections, played out against the backdrop of an indifferent world, Yasmina Khadra plumbs the mysteries of the crippled heart’s desires.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like the alienated character of Camus’ The Stranger—which clearly influenced this first-person confessional by Mohammed Moulessehoul (The Sirens of Baghdad), writing under a pseudonym—the peculiar boy who inhabits the manor at a remote Algerian township remains a perfect cipher. But he is a particularly vindictive one. Our nameless protagonist is tormented by his beloved cousin from the city, though her absence makes him equally miserable. “Without her, I am nothing but a swelling bruise, a ripening calamity.” Eventually, he is transformed into “a pillar of self-torment” seemingly capable only of inflicting pain and suffering on others. Whether this peevish provincial scion is disturbed because he discovered his father’s brutalized corpse, because of the vehement rejection of his mother, or because he’s psychotic, the book does not say. The best passages involve the intermittent visits of the narrator’s cherished brother, as seen through the eyes of the rejected son: “My mother could not contain herself.... Her suffering was even greater now that he was here. Her eyes bespoke childbirth; her joined hands recalled the praying Virgin.” While the novella feels fractional, offering only piecemeal glimpses of the protagonists, it is atmospheric and the writing is tense and lyrical. (Apr. 1)
New York Journal of Books - Steve Emmett
"Cousin K may be a small book but it is a giant of a literary work."—Steve Emmett, New York Journal of Books
L'Humanit&233;
Praise for the French edition:

Cousin K is a highly polished psychological novel embodying an immense dose of mute violence. With a kind of enraged obstinacy, Yasmina Khadra applies his lapidary style to the exploration of some of the human soul’s muddiest depths. Here as elsewhere in his work, the inner life, as alienated as it might be, never takes leave of worldly realities. Khadra continues to address us in one of the very strongest voices emanating from North Africa today.”—Jean-Claude Lebrun, L’Humanité
— Jean-Claude Lebrun

L'Humanité
Praise for the French edition:

Cousin K is a highly polished psychological novel embodying an immense dose of mute violence. With a kind of enraged obstinacy, Yasmina Khadra applies his lapidary style to the exploration of some of the human soul’s muddiest depths. Here as elsewhere in his work, the inner life, as alienated as it might be, never takes leave of worldly realities. Khadra continues to address us in one of the very strongest voices emanating from North Africa today.”—Jean-Claude Lebrun, L’Humanité
— Jean-Claude Lebrun

L'Humanite
Praise for the French edition:

Cousin K is a highly polished psychological novel embodying an immense dose of mute violence. With a kind of enraged obstinacy, Yasmina Khadra applies his lapidary style to the exploration of some of the human soul’s muddiest depths. Here as elsewhere in his work, the inner life, as alienated as it might be, never takes leave of worldly realities. Khadra continues to address us in one of the very strongest voices emanating from North Africa today.”—Jean-Claude Lebrun, L’Humanité
— Jean-Claude Lebrun

L'Humanité
Praise for the French edition:

Cousin K is a highly polished psychological novel embodying an immense dose of mute violence. With a kind of enraged obstinacy, Yasmina Khadra applies his lapidary style to the exploration of some of the human soul’s muddiest depths. Here as elsewhere in his work, the inner life, as alienated as it might be, never takes leave of worldly realities. Khadra continues to address us in one of the very strongest voices emanating from North Africa today.”—Jean-Claude Lebrun, L’Humanité
— Jean-Claude Lebrun

L'Humanit� - Jean-Claude Lebrun

Praise for the French edition:

Cousin K is a highly polished psychological novel embodying an immense dose of mute violence. With a kind of enraged obstinacy, Yasmina Khadra applies his lapidary style to the exploration of some of the human soul’s muddiest depths. Here as elsewhere in his work, the inner life, as alienated as it might be, never takes leave of worldly realities. Khadra continues to address us in one of the very strongest voices emanating from North Africa today.”—Jean-Claude Lebrun, L’Humanité

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803234932
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Series: French Voices
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,270,008
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Yasmina Khadra

Yasmina Khadra is the feminine pseudonym adopted by Mohammed Moulessehoul to avoid military censorship. Moulessehoul was born in the Algerian Sahara in 1955 and at one time was an officer in the Algerian military. His recent fiction trilogy on Middle Eastern realities—The Swallows of Kabul, The Attack, and The Sirens of Baghdad—has been widely acclaimed and translated. Moulessehoul is now retired from the military and living in France. Donald Nicholson-Smith and Alyson Waters are both seasoned translators. This is their first translation together.

Biography

Yasmina Khadra is the nom de plume of the Algerian army officer Mohammed Moulessehoul, who is the author of four other books published in English: Double Blanc, Morituri, In the Name of God and Wolf Dreams. He took the feminine pseudonym to avoid submitting his manuscripts for approval by military censors while he was still in the army. He lives in France.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Mohammed Moulessehoul
    2. Hometown:
      Aix-en-Provence, France
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 10, 1955
    2. Place of Birth:
      Kenadsa, Sahara, Algeria
    1. Education:
      Officer in the Algerian army
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)