Dar Abi Raqraq Publishing, Rabat, recently released "Soup Pot", a new novel by Moroccan writer Mohammed Salem al-Sharqawi.
It revolves around "the desert literature, and the combination of biography and salvation". The novel was discussed during the 27th edition of the Morocco’s International Book Fair, held in Rabat between June 2 and 12.
Speaking about his novel, Sharqawi said: "One of the protagonists was meant to live in the desert (coming from a far place), which seduced him like it has seduced many poets and novelists, who celebrated it and its secrets of majesty, and beauty, and lauded its landmarks and features. The desert gained a special place in their hearts, and the love of its inhabitants who know its secrets, and love its cruelty and darkness."
"This creative work belongs to the desert literature, in which the author combines the classical Arabic language with the Hassaniya, one of the classical Arabic sublanguages," said Mohammed Sidi, vice dean of the Literature and Human Sciences Department at the King Mohammed V University.
Critic and researcher Idris al-Naqouri, said titles of chapters clearly introduce the content, noting that titles are a key introductory factor in novels, and a highly discussed element among critics nowadays.
Naqouri noted that "Soup Pot" includes 15 texts, and titles and subtitles that enhance the novel, which features loads of information, and 50 characters including the protagonist Mansour.
According to Moroccan desert novelist, Aliaa Ma’ al-Aynayn, the novelty in this book is the idea of "turning the desert theme into an imaginary and analytical work. The novelist used desert as a space of creativity, and tackled its cause as a national one."
At the end of his novel, Sharqawi asks: "Are ideas, principles, and ideologies worth all these sacrifices? Does someone need to lose his comfort and life so others can live?"