WINNER OF THE FRENCH ACADEMY GRAND PRIX
A tribute to George Orwell's 1984 and a cry of protest against totalitarianism of all kinds, Sansal's 2084 tells the story of a near future in which religious extremists have established an oppressive caliphate where autonomous thought is forbidden.
It is the year 2084. In the kingdom of Abistan—named after the prophet Abi, earthly messenger of the god Yolah—citizens submit to a single god, demonstrating their devotion by kneeling in prayer nine times a day. Autonomous thought has been banned, remembering is forbidden, and an omnipresent surveillance system instantly informs the authorities of every deviant act, thought, or idea. The kingdom is blessed and its citizens are happy, filled with a sense of purpose and piety. Those who are not—the heretics—are put to death by stoning or beheading in city squares. But Ati has met people who think differently; in ghettos and caves, hidden from the authorities, exist the last living heretics and free-thinkers of Abistan. Under their influence, Ati begins to doubt. He begins to think. Now, he will have to defend his thoughts with his life.
"[In 2084] Sansal dared to go much further than I did," said Michel Houellebecq, the controversial novelist most recently of Submission. 2084 is a cry of freedom, a call to rebellion, a gripping satirical novel of ideas, and an indictment of the religious fundamentalism that, with its hypocrisy and closed-mindedness, threatens our modern democracies and the ideals on which they are founded.
Boualem Sansal’s first novel to appear in English, The German Mujahid (Europa, 2009), won the RTL Reader’s Prize for Fiction in France and was the first work of fiction by an Arab writer to acknowledge the Holocaust in print. Sansal was born in a small village in the Ouarsenis, Algeria. His fiction and essays have been systematically censored in his native country due to their criticism of the government. He has been awarded the prestigious Prix du Roman Arabe in 2012 and the German Peace Prize in 2011. 2084: The End of the World, his seventh novel, won the French Academy’s Gran Prix for Fiction.