Libyan Twilight by Raphael Luzon

Review published on July 22, 2017.

This is an odd little book and not easy to review but I’m glad I’ve read it, as it gives an insight into a people and events about which I knew very little. It is a short memoir, almost like a diary or a collection of memories, of Luzon’s life as an Arab Jew living in (and then in exile from) Libya. Following the 1967 Six Day War between Israel and Egypt, Syria and Jordan, Libyan Jews were forced to leave their country. Those who were not able to leave in time were usually rounded up and killed.

Luzon recounts his years living in Italy, Israel and London in short chapters and using anecdotes and reminisces. His style is simple and direct but at the same time rather emotional. This may be a feature of his own language that comes through a little oddly in the translation. However, there is no mistaking his sincerity and his desire to maintain his identity as a Libyan and as a Jew. He does not really look at the events from any other perspectives – this is not a history – it is his personal story.

This could be of interest to a book group that wanted to look at stories of people in exile. I recently reviewed a book by Shirin Ebadi, who is living in exile from Iran. The two books together could lead to some interesting discussions.

Maddy Broome 3/3

Libyan Twilight by Raphael Luzon
Darf Publishing 9781850772989 pbk Sep 2016

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