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Existenz

Inspector of Prisons
Featured in: Existenz
, Vol. 9, No. 2, Fall 2014

This novel is set in France during the Algerian War. A distinguished diplomat and author, after having suffered a nervous breakdown following the death of his eldest son, is assigned an ignominious position of Inspector of Prisons in different towns outside Paris. He is compromised morally by what he is expected not to report regarding the torture of Algerian political prisoners. It is a tightly woven story of a principled and patriotic man's depth of fear, depression and anguish culminating in his ultimate declaration of the turth. The novel extends Herbert Mason's prior theme of protest against death in Gilgamesh, a verse narrative, a finalist for the National Book Award, and a Muslim mystic's martyrdom in The Death of al-Hallaj, a dramatic narrative, from Houghton Mifflin & Harcourt and Notre Dame University Press respectively.

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