"Capitalism and religious fundamentalism collide in Girod’s shimmering account of one man’s heresy and imminent execution."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Mansour al-Jazaïri is on his way to his public execution. As his faithful friend Hussein looks on, the crowd calls for his head. Gassouh! Gassouh! It is a time when age-old rituals play out amid skyscrapers and are replayed on smartphone screens in the air-conditioned corridors of shopping malls. Set over the course of a single day in the Saudi Arabian capital, Mansour’s Eyes weaves together several historical pasts: the time of Mansour’s great-grandfather, the Emir Abdelkader; that of Algerian independence; and that of another Mansour, Mansur Al-Hallaj, a Sufi mystic executed in 922. In this lyrical and ambitious novel, Ryad Girod looks at the post-Arab Spring world as its drive toward modernity threatens to sever its relationship with the ethos of Sufi thought and mysticism.
“Written in a mesmerizing language, Mansour’s Eyes celebrates the Sufi heritage against a dark and violent Islam. Strong, subtle and marvelous.”—Le Figaro
“Ryad Girod offers the contrast between the world leaders occupying center stage and metaphysical withdrawal. A book of stunning beauty!”—La Croix
“Mansour’s Eyes is the novel of the new Arab world. This generational novel, the novel of globalization, succeeds in expressing the questions, problems, desires, disappointments, frustrations and revolts of our time.”—En Attendant Nadeau