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#2 - Jamal Khashoggi case

Culture, Books : Fiction, Lost in the Flood

Par Shahidha Bari - 3 mn

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Steven Poole’s, Word of the week : ‘Infamous’

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The noise of the Paris provides the raw materials for Sebastian Faulks’s tale of two narrators trying to satisfy different desires

Nineteen-year-old Tariq falls in love with his reflection while taking a pee. It’s a nicely wry update of the old Narcissus myth: a shaving glass instead of a woodland pool and a north African boy in place of the Greek youth. Tariq is too busy admiring himself to notice that he’s managed to spray the tiles around the toilet. He’s working out the best angle from which to view his face.

The possibility of seeing ourselves from a different angle is important to Faulks. In Paris Echo, he explores this by delving into the tangle of the past – familial, romantic and national. The two narrators, Hannah and Tariq, realise that the histories of war and empire cast long shadows on to present-day Paris. Tariq smuggles himself there from Morocco, searching for some trace of his dead mother and his French-Algerian heritage. He ends up crashing in Hannah’s spare r...

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