In Conversation: Amara Lakhous and Adam Shatz
Tuesday May 3, 2016
“As a novelist of culture clash, Lakhous has the faculty to maintain colorful voices with the luxury of introducing political themes as instantiations of character”
International author Amara Lakhous was joined in conversation with Adam Shatz to discuss his new novel The Prank of the Good Little Virgin of Via Ormea.
About The Prank of the Good Little Virgin of Via Ormea by Amara Lakhous
A fun and farcical novel, this new "whodunit" about life in multicultural Italy by Amara Lakhous will delight fans of Lakhous' earlier bestseller, Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, and readers of novels such as The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany.
Bittersweet, like any self-respecting Italian comedy, The Prank is a Pirandellian exploration of identity in today's multicultural, polyglot societies. Lakhous draws inspiration from everyday reality, describing his approach to writing as "total literature," a term he has adapted from soccer's "total football." He plays in attack, describing in this work the realities of an Italy of the future with colorful characters portrayed in limpid but lively prose.
Amara Lakhous was born in Algiers in 1970. He has a degree in philosophy from the University of Algiers and another in cultural anthropology from the University la Sapienza, Rome. He recently completed a Ph.D. thesis entitled “Living Islam as a Minority.” His first novel, Le cimici e il pirata (Bedbugs and the Pirate), was published in 1999. Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio (Europa Editions, 2008) was awarded Italy’s prestigious Flaiano Prize and was described by the Seattle Times as a “wonderfully offbeat novel.”
Adam Shatz is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books. His essays and reportage have also appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine and The Nation.