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Dreams from the Endz


24-year-old Ahlème (her name means 'dream' in Arabic) lives with her father, The Boss. He is half the man he was, since an accident on his building site stopped him working. Then there's Ahlème's brother, 16-year-old Foued, excluded from school and getting drawn into the world of drug-dealing on Uprising Estate. Ahlème battles with her family, the struggles and queues that come with being an immigrant, and the guilt-trips of distant relatives 'back home'. But when she returns - after a ten-year absence - to the country where her mother was massacred at a village wedding, she brokers a kind of truce, both with her homeland, and with the need to forge a future. Along the way, she stamps on that mythical version of Metropolitan France, a desperate fabrication put out by economic and political migrants and readily bought into by those left behind in Algeria.

Dreams from the Endz is an extraordinary achievement: outspoken and sobering but - crucially - laced with the author's hallmark wit. Faiza Guene illuminates the impact of politics on everyday lives, acting as the nation's eyes and ears in places many would never dare to go, weaving unforgettable tales across barriers.