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Lolita's Fingers focuses on the ordeal of Arab intellectuals in exile. In particular it looks at the persecution they suffered under dictatorial regimes from 1960 to 1980, and then again from fundamentalist movements which took their place (1990 to the present). It demonstrates that fleeing your country and going into exile is not always a means of escape from surveillance and secret services, since Western countries began to use the same methods against Muslim writers after the events of 11th September 2001.
The novel exposes aspects of political corruption, fundamentalist thought and international terrorism, which has increased the Arab intellectual's sense of alienation. Amidst the political discourse, the author also tells the thrilling story of the hero's romantic relationship with Lolita, who takes on different characteristics depending on whether she is in her home country or in exile away from it.
You can find a complete history of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction here. Information on all the winners, shortlisted and longlisted...
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