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"Hauntingly poetic and original."

"Ben Jelloun, a writer of much originality, succeeds brilliantly in infusing his story with a melancholy that attaches itself not just to Ahmed but also to the Arab world."

"Mythic, symbolic, at times even highly poetic... At the center of this magical tale the question of gender (and the tangential problems of race and culture) predominates... The ending is absolutely startling."