The Desert and the Drum
by Mbarek Ould Beyrouk
"The Desert and the Drum reveals a hidden Bedouin world and what happens when its values clash with those of contemporary urban life. It was awarded the Ahmadou-Kourouma Prize in 2016 and is the first novel from Mauritania to be translated into English. Everything changes for Rayhana when foreigners with strange machines arrive to mine for metal near her Bedouin camp. One of them is the enigmatic Yahya. Her association with him leads to Rayhana to abandon all that she has ever known and flee alone to the city. But when her tribe discover she has stolen their sacred drum, they pursue her to exact their revenge. The Desert and the Drum tells of Rayhana’s rift with her family, the disturbing characters she encounters in the metropolis, her attempts to distinguish friend from foe and to find a place for herself amidst the contradictions of contemporary Mauritania"--Back cover.