The novel is divided into three parts, literally bunches, or clusters, in reference to the dates in the original title. Each part is devoted to one of the main characters: Mekki, his mother Khadija, and his beloved cousin Atra’.
Mekki, like many young Tunisians at the time, leaves the oasis of Nefta for a nearby town, Metlaoui, in order to work in the phosphate mines. There, he witnesses the birth of the Tunisian trade union movement, the anti-colonial struggle and the beginning of the Tunisian nationalist movement. Colonised and exploited as a worker, he will become an active participant and leader of the miners strike in 1928, a strike quickly crushed by Senegalese soldiers sent by France, he will lose his job and, at the end, his life.
The novel is a vast social fresco of the 1920s in southern Tunisia.
Approximate number of pages: 340 p.
Foreign rights: contact publisher