What We Are Reading Today: The Critical Case of K

Updated 09 August 2018

What We Are Reading Today: The Critical Case of K

This engaging novel in Arabic by Aziz Mohammed, a Saudi author and blogger from Alkhobar, tells the story of a lonely, melancholic person who defends his individuality against a social and economic system that threatens to overwhelm him.

The protagonist, who is frustrated by his limited abilities and is determined to protect his privacy, receives news that turns his life upside down.

He falls ill with leukemia and struggles with his family and work environment.

Although the author does not specify the society or country where the novel is set, the story could be based on the life of an ordinary young employee at an oil company in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia.

The novel is written in a diary format — after reading Kafka, "K" decides to write a diary, too — with the protagonist recording his daily battles with life in a  sarcastic voice.

The narrative flows smoothly, and the writing style follows a simple sentence structure and vocabulary choice.

Relationships have neither real value nor influence in the story. "K" is a lonely man who makes little effort to end his isolation — and that makes his story interesting and touching.

The novel, published by Lebanon's Dar Al-Tanweer, is 31-year-old Mohammed's first published novel. It was on the shortlist for the 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (Booker).

Farida Khelfa returns to the runway for Schiaparelli

Updated 21 January 2019

Farida Khelfa returns to the runway for Schiaparelli

DUBAI: French-Algerian actress Farida Khelfa just returned to the runway at Paris Couture Week, walking the catwalk for Schiaparelli.

The 58-year-old was the brand ambassador for the Parisian label for five years, before she abruptly stepped down in 2017 and her turn on the catwalk on Monday has tongues wagging about a possible return.

She walked in the label’s spring 2019 couture show in Paris wearing a dark A-line coat with a large brooch at the collar, cowboy boots and a box clutch.

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