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The Disappearance of Mr. Nobody


ISBN: 9781649032140

Paperback: 126 pages
Publisher: Hoopoe, 2023
Language: English

Winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature

In Rouiba, a nondescript suburb of Algiers, an unnamed man with a troubled past escapes his everyday life to find himself caring for an old man with dementia. When the man dies, the carer disappears into thin air. A police detective is assigned to investigate the circumstances of the old man’s demise and to track down the caretaker, only to find that the unnamed man cannot be identified—that there is no trace of Mr. Nobody. The officer’s search leads him to those whose paths once crossed Mr. Nobody’s. In each of them he finds a reflection of the man he is looking for.

A raw, lyrical portrait of life on the margins in contemporary Algiers, this haunting noir captures an underworld of police informers, shady imams, bootleg beer traders, and grave robbers, and reverberates with echoes of Algeria’s violent past.

Translated by Jonathan Wright.

Ahmed Taibaoui is a professor at the Faculty of Economics, Business, and Management Sciences at the University of Bouira in Algeria. He was awarded the Tayeb Salih International Prize for Written Creativity (2014) for his novel Mawt na‘im (Death of a Sleeper), as well as the President of the Republic Award for Young Innovators (2011) for his novel al-Maqam al-‘ali (The High Eminence). Winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Prize for Literature, The Disappearance of Mr. Nobody is Taibaoui’s fourth novel and his English language debut. He lives in Algiers.

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