The member of LNBR, the Morocco writer, Ms. AÏcha Bassry recommend a novel published in Arabic in 2018 by the publishing house (Al Dar Al Masriah Aloubnania) in Cairo (Egypt). The novel under the title La vie sans moi takes place between the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam and Morocco.
It is useful to translate this novel Especially since this novel is at the heart of the subject of the Belt and the Road and the mutual understanding of humans. The novel is based on historical events in the People’s Republic of China and the protagonist of the novel is a Chinese woman. The novel tells about the events of Chinese society from an Arab point of view.
This novel La vie sans moi won a very important award, which is the award for the best Arabic novel for the year 2018 at the Sharjah International Book Fair, United Arab Emirates. Here is a summary of the novel La vie sans moi: La vie sans moi is the story of a parallel war in WWII including a woman’s body and a battlefield. The story takes place between Morocco, Vietnam and China over a long period… It begins in the city of Casablanca in Morocco in 1937 and ends in the same city in 2014…. Japanese soldiers launched an attack in late 1937 against the village of Chulang Bridge, a small village in northeast China, on their way to Nanjing, the capital at the time. They killed the men, raped the women, burned the implant and kidnapped the girls to be comfort women accompanying the military. The villagers fled to the mountains or walked west. In the absence of a world occupied by the Second World War, the Japanese army wrote a black spot in the history of mankind and in the history of women in particular “The rapes of Nanjing”. The city was destroyed, thousands of women raped and people buried alive in collective graves.“Jin Mei” and “Gochin”, twins from a farming family fled the village of Chulang Bridge to the Red Mountain caves, then to the city of Nanjing. Jin Mei continued his life in China and experienced the transformations of the country, internal conflicts and then the stage of stability…. Gochin, in these circumstances of war, fled China in Vietnam with a French arms dealer, only to find himself confronted after only a few months, with the Indochina war…The arms dealer leaves Vietnam in hiding with his family to France then to Israel (La Terre Promise). Gochin finds himself alone in the face of his tragic fate. She is one of the comfort women, accompanying armies at war… She has known two wars and love saved her from a third (the Vietnam-US war). Gochin met Mohammed, the Moroccan soldier engaged in the French army… At the end of the Indochina war, she accompanied him to France where she lived for a time in refugee reception centers and then in Morocco. She lived in Casablanca until the death of her husband. During his escape from wars and his journey and his long journey from East to West, in search of a safe country, a single black and white image accompanies him. A photo of her with her twin Jin Mei which she has lost all news about.
In search of spiritual salvation, Gochin visits his country after 40 years in search of family and those roots. She does not find any member of her family and returns with her sister’s ashes in a jar.
Gochin could not get rid of the bad psychological effects that the war had left her … Torn between religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam) and languages (Chinese, French, Arabic) and lost between two countries, she committed suicide by 2004 in Casablanca.
Of course, there are unexpected endings and a series of events that the reader will discover.
Source: Ms. AÏcha Bassry
Edited by Zhang Jiaxuan