Les vies (multiples) d’Adam

– Novel –


Adam’s (multiple) lives by Algerian writer Lamine Benallou revolves around Adam, who experiences a forty-day period marked by the disappearance of his wife, Amina. Instead of being buried, Amina’s body is kept in a family refrigerator, and Adam observes daily rituals in her ho-nor. The novel explores the symbolism of this forty-day period, which holds particular significance in Islamic religious culture.
The story takes an unexpected turn when, during these forty days, Adam encounters intriguing characters such as Pablo, Emilia, Moha, Don Anto-nio de Olavide, and other mysterious individuals. He also discovers hid-den personal journals of his late wife, revealing her adulterous rela-tionships with various unknown individuals. However, this discovery does not evoke hatred or aversion in Adam, but rather a desire to write. Encouraged by the enigmatic Don Pablo, Adam explores his creativity within the vast library of Pablo’s house.
The narrative unfolds in a universe rich in literary and philosophical references, with authors such as Borges, Bazin, Marcus Aurelius, Camus, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez inhabiting the novel and manifesting themselves through different characters in Adam’s circle.
Venturing into a world where reality and fiction blur to the point of in-distinguishability, where the boundary between present and past, good and evil, life and death becomes increasingly faint, Adam discovers the power of his perception and his ability to reshape the world based on his imagination and personal tastes. Les vies (multiples) d’Adam is a subtle mise en abîme, an intricate interplay where all certainties and clichés shatter, and the world loses its inherent meaning to become an elusive metaphor.
With Les vies (multiples) d’Adam, Lamine Benallou offers a metaphori-cal and luminous writing style, vividly depicting each image. Through the exercise of memory in a period of mourning, the novel explores themes of the act of writing and the profession of being a writer, particu-larly after the encounter with Don Pablo and the discovery of a timeless labyrinth.

Les vies (multiples) d’Adam stands as a major work of Algerian literature.

“This novel both questions and invigorates. In this extravagant context, enriched constantly with cultural references from Marc Aurelius’ ‘Meditations’ to Ibn Khaldoun’s ‘Muqaddimah,’ and Alejo Carpentier’s ‘The Century of Lights,’ not to mention Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the universal library of Babel symbolizing infinite knowledge and a challenge to human imagination is not just a mere wallpaper illusion!” – Rabeh Sebaa

And if I had to write the entire chronicle of this complex story of a world beyond the world myself? Two options are offered to me for the ending of this fantastical tale. Whichever one I choose, I will never know if it is the best choice, as neither of them will fully satisfy me. Given that nothing we do fully satisfies our lives. The essence and very nature of the unknown disturb and trouble us. We all go through these stages. Some find no reason in them and get lost along the way. Others confront these mysteries and discover what destiny offers them, even if it sometimes disturbs their senses. Fear is nothing compared to the immense joy of discovering the unknown.


Publishers: Editions Frantz Fanon (Algeria, 2022), Altava publishing (France, 2023)
Language: French
Rights: World rights to Editions Frantz Fanon
Genre: Novel
Extent: 358 p.

Rights inquiries: here


Lamine Benallou is a writer and a teacher of Spanish linguistics and literature at several universities, including in Spain and Algeria. He is the Director of the Cultural Department of the Foundation “el legado andalusí” in Granada, Spain, and the promoter of a Forum for reflection, “Spaces for Dialogue and Interculturality. Towards an Alliance of Civilizations.” He is the author of several books, including Les porteurs de parole (1998), L’Oranie espagnole. Approche sociale et linguistique (2002), Al Andalus, voyages dans la mémoire. Sur les traces de la civilisation hispanomusulmane (2010), and Para un Islam de las luces. Volver al espíritu de Córdoba (2020)

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