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La Nuit sacrée

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,058 ratings  ·  105 reviews
This is an alternate cover edition of ISBN 2020255839 (ISBN13: 9782020255837).

Dans L'Enfant de sable, publié en 1985, Ahmed était la fille d'un homme humilié de ne pas avoir d'héritier mâle, et qui avait décidé, dans le secret de la maison, que celle-ci en serait un. Elevé(e) en garçon, habillée en garçon, son histoire était dite par un conteur incertain, fabulateur peut-ê
Mass Market Paperback, 189 pages
Published 1995 by Editions Du Seuil (first published September 1st 1987)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  1,058 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second novel that I’ve read by famed Moroccan author Tahar Ben Jelloun. I must confess that I wasn’t quite a fan of his more recent novel, “Le Bonheur conjugal”. However, “La Nuit sacrée”, his 1987 Prix Goncourt-winning novel is a completely different story. For me, “Le Bonheur conjugal” and “La Nuit sacrée” are two worlds apart. I critiqued “Le Bonheur conjugal” for being conventional, slow moving and repetitive. “La Nuit sacrée”, however”, I found incredibly bold, gripping and out- ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
La nuite sacrée, The Sacred Night – the night of purge, the night of truth, the night of rebirth. With this night, the 27th one of Ramadan, starts the Tahar Ben Jelloun’s book: a very promising beginning. But what is next is just … disappointing. It is a tale about the role of woman in the Islamic world as a dark, dense, intricate, surrealistic, and almost unbearable story. It is not only the mix between reality and hallucinations that disturbs, but also the blending of poetry and violence, and ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a staggering novel !
Sep 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Worst book in ages. Didn't manage to finish the last 20 pages.
Luka Jakić
Mar 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Great idea - poor realization.
Reese (whimsicalbibliophile)
This book was completely different from what I was expecting. I've read another book of his, La Remontee des Cendres (couldn't find what the English title is), and I think I was expecting something similar: sad and hard-hitting. And The Sacred Night is, but at the same time it really surprised me. It's the sequel to The Sand Child, but I haven't read that and I completely understood what was happening in this book.
I really liked how difficult it was to separate what was real and what was imagina
Emeraldia Ayakashi

"Neither a woman's body full and greedy, nor a body of serene and strong man; I was in between, that is, hell. "

I can not be objective when i'mtalking about Tahar Ben Jelloun.
Whatever he says, I have the impression that the music of his words speaks directly to my soul.
It was through him, that I've discovered that the perception of time is linear in the West, and spiraled in the East.

Every time I finish a book by Tahar Ben Jelloun, I feel that I have gained humanity, because I let myself be car
May 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nowhere near as good as the first book of this series THE SAND CHILD, which was absolutely brilliant, perhaps one of my favorite books of all time in fact. Just read and taught the first one this semester. There is no end to the magic and mystery of that slim novel. But this sequel acts as a boring literal key to a lot of the charming mystery of the first. And it loses all the multi-vocal orality of the first as well. A real disappointment. But anyone who loves really complicated non-linear, mul ...more
Apr 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surreal and disturbing. Of course I fucking loved it.
Jan 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was truly expecting a masterpiece; and it did start wonderfully until the woman/man/weirdo started telling her/his/its life, and then it went downhill, was crude and made no sense at all.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: moroccan
The Sacred Night is the sequel to Tahar Ben Jelloun’s great novel, The Sand Child. Here we follow the life of Ahmad/Zahra, born a girl yet out of shame she was raised as a man, after her independence from her family. On the most sacred night of Ramadan, her father dies, and it is then and only then that she can embrace her true identity as a woman. After having lived for many years as a “man”, Zahra embarks on a wandering voyage all over Morocco to finally embrace her femininity, her body, her s ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first book (L'enfant de sable) and this book is supposed to be the true story. I don't know what that says about me. But still 4 stars because I loved the first one so much, I couldn't ever actually dislike this book, not as long as Zahra is there. (spoilers below)

I just kind of viscerally hate the Consul and I don't understand her relationship with him and I hate that it took over the book. Or is the point of the book. I don't know. I know relatio
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is rare to find poetry and the human condition so beautifully placed in one location. One can never express the surreal nature of dreaming and living in the way that Jelloun has. Beautiful and disquieting, this novel strikes at the heart of what it means to be a woman and what it means to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others.
Dr. Phoenix
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another amazing story that is well worth considering. I will be reading much more of Jelloun
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read. It’s very different from what i usually read but it’s great to venture out of the bubble.
Philip Tucker
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing story that moves between reality and fantasy, romance and painful reality. It's set in Morocco and the protagonist is a Moroccan girl brought up as a boy because of the ambitions of her father. The book begins as Zahara throws off the disguise and embraces the world as a woman for the first time. Leaving her family and village behind, she sets out on an adventure that is both real and imagined, the reader unsure as to which is which. The tale left some powerful and sometimes distur ...more
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found Ben jelloun a competent author in which he convey a hideous picture of a girl under sufferance.the title was appropriately picked up by Ben Jelloun.Adressing the paradoxical manifestations of those who are called muslims in the 27th night of ramadan.

sometimes it sounds extremely repulsive and deep in melancholy.needless to say, he was mocking the people's paradox not the essence of the religion or any of its principles. [that's what I think]

it was really amazing novel, encouraging me to
Dec 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The follow up to 'l'Enfant de sable', this book tells the story of a woman born in the Arab world to a family of only sisters. The father decides to bring her up as a boy in order to have an heir. Now an adult, and with her father dead, the main character leaves in order to live as a woman finally. Lots of very complicated, tortured characters trying to find a place for themselves in the world. I really enjoyed this book. It is translated into English as 'The Sacred Night'.
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Sad and very cruel story of Zahra (once Ahmed) continues. She's strugling with herself, with her body and most of all with the feminity hidden deep within. Trying to free herself by the power of storytelling Zahra is reliving once more her pains and sorrows by a dream within a dream narrative. No hope for the lost soul of the sand child.
Bizarre, like an endless hallucination, but fascinating nonetheless. It won the Goncourt in 1987, and I can see why - it tackles the situation of women in Muslim countries, family ties, religious fanaticism and freedom of choice within traditional gender roles. Very bold but it can really make your skin crawl.
I found this book easier to read than its predecessor, l'enfant de sable. Both books are fable-like, though the issues remain contemporary. Not an easy read in French; however, I believe that even if I had read the tale in English, much of the richness of the book would be lost in my lack of knowledge of the history and culture of North Africa.
Nadya Tsech
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krugosvetka
This book is something between a biography and an Arabian fairytale. The main character has been playing a role of the only son for 20 years, and after her father's death she freed herself.

I recommend this book to people who like mystic stories. This is a book of images, impressions and dreams, this isn't a book of logic.
Can't decide if I like The Sand Child more or less.
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cultural
Beautifully written, interesting, and at times disturbing, story.
Meltem Sağlam
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fr, ger, read_2014, owned
Disgrace, misfortune, vengeance, hatred, freedom. Poetry indeed.
A Wallflower
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've ever read anything like it, in a good way.
Feb 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, school, dnf
DNF, because it's no use. Two starts because I like the idea of the story.
EDIT: nevermind... One star now
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الطاهر بن جلون
Tahar Ben Jelloun (Arabic: الطاهر بن جلون‎‎) is a Moroccan writer. The entirety of his work is written in French, although his first language is Arabic. He became known for his 1985 novel L’Enfant de Sable (The Sand Child). Today he lives in Paris and continues to write. He has been short-listed for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
31 likes · 7 comments
“قلبي مقعد حجري مغطى بالأوراق، موضوع في الطريق للتوقف والراحة. سَتردُّكِ إليه الصدفة أو ستعيدك الريح. أنا في انتظارك. وإلى اللقاء بعد قليل.” 4 likes
“ta mère n'avait aucun désir, Éteinte, elle a toujours été éteinte, fanée. A-t-elle été un jour heureuse?je me le demande encore. Et moi je n'étais pas l'homme capable de lui donner le bonheur.” 0 likes
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