Algerian writer Mona Bashlam
Algiers - Khaled Alloush
Algerian writer Mona Bashlam is preparing to publish her latest novel Ahdab al Khashya (Fear Lashes).
In an interview with Arab Today, the author said her latest book simulates the virtual world and its consequences on relationships in a poetic style of language.
The book is written as a love story between a professor of literature at Constantine University and a singer in eastern Algeria.
Bashlam explained that several different stories take place within the novel with the two protagonists that all help enrich the novel.
Instead of normal conversation, Bashlam has used Facebook posts and online chats as poetic verses.
In the novel, the main female character comes to Algeria to receive a large sum of money left to her by her father. In Constantine she meets the professor whom she invites to to come watch her perform. When he comes to visit her after two years, feelings begin to develop between them; however the female protagonist is concerned that her love interest is involved with other women via Facebook.
The male character decides to give the journals that record the developments in their relationship to a virtual friend who later becomes a colleague named “Mona Bashlam” so she can transform them into a novel.
But “Mona Bashlam” decides to contact the female character to get her side of the story so as to write two stories within the same novel.
Bashlam has in her novel been able to highlight several of the issues facing modern Algerian society such as domestic abuse and corruption. But she also takes on the relationship between men and women and what can happen when mistrust dominates over passion.
She has written several short stories as well as another novel called Tawasheeh al-Ward (The Horrors of a Rose).