A traveler looks out his hotel window on a war-torn city. A mortar explodes in his room and, when the police arrive, the corpse has disappeared and only a notebook of apocryphal writings and poems is found. These enigmas lead into a labyrinth, where blind and barbarous forces lay siege to individual lives and diverse cultures.
"State of Siege is a novel of pure fiction, but infinitely more powerful than all the big speeches about Bosnia."-Le Nouvel Observateur
"A passionate dialogue with the reader, a reflection on privacy and commitment [engagement], with the steady vigilant presence of a great literary voice."-Le Monde
"The reader is thrown into the unreality of a besieged city, as if a firm hand had rudely pushed him out of the tank that brought him from the airport."-L'Express
"For the Spaniard Juan Goytisolo, writing is a dangerous adventure."-Lire
"Dreams, reminiscences of the war in Spain, thoughts on the novel, borrowings from mystery and detective fiction, references to ancient cultures and Arabic culture, numerous allusions to the narrative structure of Don Quixote-these make up the form of this novel that, as the author says in an ironic and provocative way, isn't written 'according to the rules.'"-Fayard Presse
Juan Goytisolo was born in Barcelona in 1931 and lives in Marrakech. In 1993, he was awarded the Nelly Sachs Prize for his literary achievement and contribution to world culture. His translated works include a two-volume autobiography, Forbidden Territory and Realms of Strife, the novels Marks of Identity, Count Julian, Juan the Landless, Quarantine, Virtues of a Solitary Bird, The Marx Family Saga, and The Garden of Secrets, and the essays Saracen Chronicles and Landscapes of War.