Bahraini author Khaled al-Bassam is known for his interest in Gulf history and folklore. He has published a great many historical works drawing on autobiography, memoir, stories, and biography—so far 21 works in all—but There’s No Photographer in ‘Aneiza is his first novel. The plot is spread out over the cities of ‘Aneiza (in Najd), al-Zubeir (in Iraq), Manama, and Calcutta, and as the protagonists move between these cities, they play with history, its fantasies, and its adventures, far from the tumult of the future. The author is clearly inspired by the historical and folklore mode he has used over his many previous works, and he sets the novel in the 1930s and 40s. La yujad musawwir fi ‘Aneiza, by Khaled al-Bassam, al-Mu’assasa al-‘Arabiya li-l-Dirasat wa-l-Nashr, 319 pp.
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