Star of Algiers, The

by Chouaki, Aziz

Moussa Massy dreams of being a star. A Kabyle singer in 1990s Algiers, Massy electrifies audiences with his fusion of Arab and African melodies with American pop music. At 36, he desperately wants to marry his long-term fianc?e and escape from the three-room apartment he shares with thirteen other members of his family. When he is signed to perform at one of the hottest nightclubs in town, his dreams appear to be coming true. But his taste of fame and freedom is short-lived: when the fundamentalist Islamic group FIS is elected to power, the city is submerged in corruption and violence. As he battles to salvage his dreams in a society steeped in fanaticism, Massy?s passion for music turns to unforgiving rage. In energetic, staccato prose, The Star of Algiers vividly portrays the harsh realities of a country in constant turmoil and brilliantly shows the capacity for despair and hatred of those who have nothing left to lose.