February 9 @ 7:00 pm - February 11 @ 8:00 pm
The prizewinning French filmmaker and writer Karim Miské visits the UK in the second week of February to celebrate the publication of the English translation of his debut novel Arab Jazz. The translation, by Sam Gordon, is published by Quercus imprint MacLehose Press and is supported by Institut Français du Royaume-Uni in London, English PEN, and Arts Council England.
The novel was first published in French in 2012 as Arab Jazz by Éditions Viviane Hamy. It was awarded the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière
Arab Jazz won a 2014 English PEN award for promotion via the PEN Promotes programme, hence the UK tour. At three events - two in London, one in Oxford - Miské will be in conversation variously with writer and activist Tariq Ali, Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, writer, and lecturer Kenan Malik, journalist and Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore and thriller writer Sarah Lotz.
The novel, a literary thriller set amongst Muslim and other immigrant communities in Paris's cosmopolitan 19th arrondissement, could hardly be more topical. Miské told the London-based Independent newspaper: "When I heard about the attack on Charlie Hebdo, I was deeply disturbed like most people. Then I heard how the killers crashed their car at Place du Colonel Fabien and that they had hijacked another car and driven down the Rue Petit – all places which appear in Arab Jazz - I thought what is happening? Why have these people invaded my book?
Miské was born in 1964 in Abidjan to a Mauritanian father and a French mother, and grew up in Paris. He studied journalism in Dakar and now lives in France where he is a documentary filmmaker on subjects including deafness (for which he learned sign language) and the common roots of the Jewish and Muslim religions.
The publisher of the English translation of Arab Jazz says:
"Kosher sushi, kebabs, a second hand bookshop and a bar: the 19th arrondissement in Paris is a cosmopolitan neighbourhood where multicultural citizens live, love and worship alongside one another. This peace is shattered when Ahmed Taroudant’s melancholy daydreams are interrupted by the blood dripping from his upstairs neighbour’s brutally mutilated corpse.
"The violent murder of Laura Vignole, and the pork joint placed next to her, set imaginations ablaze across the neighborhood, and Ahmed finds himself the prime suspect. However detectives Rachel Kupferstein and Jean Hamelot are not short of leads. What is the connection between a disbanded hip-hop group and the fiery extremist preachers that jostle in the streets for attention? And what is the mysterious new pill that is taking the district by storm?
"In debut novel Karim Miské demonstrates a masterful control of setting, as he moves seamlessly between the sensual streets of Paris and the synagogues of New York to reveal the truth behind a horrifying crime."
Karim Miské ©Antoine Rozes
Karim will appear at the following events to celebrate the launch of Arab Jazz:
OXFORD – Monday 9 February 2015, 7pm at Blackwell’s Oxford: Karim Miské in conversation with Tariq Ali. Tickets: £3 (Tel: 01865 333623
LONDON – Tuesday 10 February 2015, 7pm at Institut Français: The Spectrum of Radicalism – Fact and Fiction. Karim Miské in conversation with Kenan Malik and Suzanne Moore. Tickets: £8/£6
LONDON – Wednesday 11 February 2015, 7pm at Waterstones Piccadilly: Collisions of Faith and Culture. Karim Miské in conversation with Sarah Lotz and Elif Shafak. Tickets: FREE (but please reserve your place by email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Susannah Tarbush, London