Barzakh: The Land In-Between

While studying the land of Barzakh in the Sahara, members of the Institute for the Archeology of Human Thought unearth the bones of Gara, a young man, whose Myelin will unravel the secrets of his ancient consciousness. A foreigner in his own land, Gara, in search of a better humanity, has traveled through three eras, from the 11th-century deserts of Mauritania to the dystopic future, inadvertently sowing the seeds of his own destruction. An innovative masterpiece that symphonizes mysticism, religion, and Mauritanian culture into a dystopian reflection on the human condition, this unique blend of science fiction and philosophy will interest those looking for new voices and perspectives in science fiction. Translated from French by Marybeth Timmermann, this would be the first official English publication of the work.

ISBN: 9781957810003


211 pages


$ 26.99 USD

Praise and reviews

“Presented as a transcript of the stream of consciousness translated from the remains of a skeleton found at the top of a mountain in Ghallawiya… a story told mostly with fragments of journeys across what is now Mauritania, it is an ambitious premise for an ultimately dystopian vision.”

~Regina Schroeder, Booklist Review

“The landscape of Barzakh is ethereal and alien [...] I left the book feeling unsure, but also satisfied. Curious about what I had been missing. Ready to go searching through a new world.”

~Jason Kahler, The Future Fire

“Barzakh is a fascinating snapshot of the past and future of a fictional Mauritanian desert region. Framed by the story of future scientists discovering his remains, narrator Gara jumps between three eras--the distant past, the recent past, and the distant future.… I especially enjoyed the future section of this novel, which depicts space-age life and technology (and poverty and corruption) from the perspective of those it's left behind--in this case, desert nomads and prison laborers in the nuclear containment facilities turning Earth into a wasteland. I was also delighted by the brief appearance of a far-future psychic vampire alien--this book has a lot in it! “

~Leah Baxter - Reviewer/Publisher

“Hmm the way this book was written reminded me very much of how albert Camus wrote, the kind of melody of the narrative…yeah you’ll need to try this out… you’ll need to enjoy a kind of poetic narrative just like Albert Camus used to write.”

~ Juliane Silver - Reviewer

About the author

Moussa Ould Ebnou, one of Mauritania’s greatest novelists, earned his Ph.D. at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, and is a philosophy professor at the University of Nouakchott in Mauritania. He has written several novels and short stories in French and Arabic. He was a consultant for the United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office in New York and served as a cultural advisor to the Presidency of Mauritania for fifteen years.

Moussa Ould Ebnou
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