The Day Azrael Committed Suicide

The Day Azrael Committed Suicide
(working title)
يوم انتحار عزرائيل
(Yawm intihar Azraail)

Written by

(آرثر غابرييل ياك)

Published by


An officer effortlessly slaughters a rival ethnic group before realising he is part of it as well

The novel begins in Juba, the capital of a young South Sudan which gained its independence in 2011. Colonel Franco, who is reputed for being a courageous and efficient officer thanks to his experience during the long civil war against the government of Khartoum, is sent by the authorities to quash a new rebellion by a rival ethnic group. He kills people with such ease that he is nicknamed Azrael, the Archangel who takes souls and guides them to heaven. Franco has always considered himself to be a pure Dinka, but when he goes back to his village to organise his sister’s wedding ceremony, he discovers that he is not welcome by the elders, and realises that his father actually belonged to the rival ethnic group he has targeted. Shaken by this discovery, he considers committing suicide.

Approximate number of pages: 379 p.

Foreign rights: contact the author‘s agent


Translation samples

Reasons to publish this book

South Sudan is a very young state, which gained independence in 2011, and its literary production is unknown in Europe. The book tackles the issue of ethnic conflicts in Africa, and explains the complicated situation in the region. The book is written in Arabic, but the plot is purely “African” in terms of geography and culture, making this book unique on both the African and the Arabic language literary scene.

Reviewed by Xavier Luffin