The Tooth: Love, betrayal and death in Paris and Algiers in final months of the Algerian war

The Tooth: Love, betrayal and death in Paris and Algiers in final months of the Algerian war

by J.A.C. Lewis

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Overview

The Tooth: Love, betrayal and death in Paris and Algiers in final months of the Algerian war by J.A.C. Lewis

Poland, Germany, England, 1945: She survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald, an emaciated teenager with a terrible secret. She moved on to a refugee camp inGermanyand thenNew York, Tel Aviv,Parisand finally back to Brooklyn. As a 10-year-old, he was severely wounded trying to save his mother from attack by Soviet soldiers at a railway station as German civilians fled westwards to escape the advancing Red Army. The scene burned itself into his memory. He was lightly injured in a German V2 rocket attack onLondonin the final weeks of the war and discovered only years later that the tooth of a woman killed in the blast had embedded itself in his thigh. Given the choice of having the tooth extracted, he opted to leave it there, feeling a strange affinity with the unknown victim. Paris and Algiers, 1961-62: Three young adults whose early years were blighted by World War Two cross paths in Paris in the early 1960s in the final months of Algeria's war for independence against France. They settle into a blissfully dissolute life with multiple sexual entanglements on the Left Bank. However, one is drawn into a deadly confrontation with a violent countryman while the second, who survived Auschwitz as a teenager, takes little interest in the grim events unfolding around her, preferring instead to embark on affairs and deal in art works. But one night, out of rage and shock, she is driven to commit a drastic act. The Algerian conflict, Europe's last and most vicious colonial war, slowly intrudes upon the life of the third, a British freelance reporter. As a child he was lightly wounded in a German V2 rocket attack and discovered only years later that the tooth of a woman killed in the blast had embedded itself in his leg: the unknown victim had been standing only yards from him. Given a choice of having the tooth extracted, he opts to leave it there, feeling a strange affinity with the woman. A London newspaper assigns him to cover dramatic developments inParis. These include a horrifying night in October, 1961 when the Parispolice kill an estimated 200 Algerians demonstrating against a curfew, dumping their bodies into the Seine. His girlfriend, who belongs to a French group that espoused the Algerian cause, disappears into the jails of the French secret police. The reporter is subsequently sent to Algiers where he finds the city gripped by madness as extremist European bands roam the streets dispensing death to Moslems in a last-gasp effort to stop Algeria from claiming its independence - and prevent the departure of a million European settlers who had lived there for generations. On a foolish impulse, the Englishman betrays an Algerian friend, to devastating effect. He moves on to cover other wars, often narrowly escaping death. Although he doesn't attribute magical powers to the tooth he believes it nonetheless helped to keep him safe - a true talisman and a constant companion.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014576703
Publisher: Publish Green
Publication date: 07/09/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

J.A.C. Lewis is the pseudonym of a retired, Canadian-born journalist who reported on wars and international affairs for long years for British, Canadian and French publications. He lives in Paris.

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