As usual, Isabelle Eberhardt's stormy love affair with the Algerian desert sets the physical and emotional scene in this collection of short stories. Written in French in the late 1800s and translated by Karim Hamdy and Laura Rice, her characters live, love, work, and die with passions as fierce and brutal as the midday sun, reflections as gentle as the evening breeze, and happiness as beautiful and fleeting as the spring desert in bloom. As in 'The Oblivion Seekers,' Eberhardt's descriptions and voices are as lyrical, harsh, and ultimately captivating as the North African land and people she knew.
"This selection of short stories, reportage, and travel journals, which glow with sensuous detail, superbly evokes the life of the desert towns and nomadic peoples of the Saharan region of Morocco and Algeria. As a radical individualist, Eberhardt identified with and defended the oppressed; yet she was a romantic as well, and ambiguous about the 'civilizing' role of France. Today she has become an iconic figure at the center of discussions about gender, race, colonialism, representation, and writing."—Bridge Over Traveled Water
Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904) was an explorer who lived and traveled extensively throughout North Africa. She wrote of her travels in numerous books and French newspapers, including Nouvelles Algeriennes [Algerian News] (1905), Dans l'Ombre Chaude de l'Islam [In the Hot Shade of Islam] (1906), and Les journaliers [The Day Laborers] (1922).