Glowing with emotional truth. . . . Extraordinary. . . . One of the most brilliant literary debuts of recent years. Times(London) Libya, 1979. Nine-year-old Suleimans days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood: outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli, games with friends played under the burning sun, exotic gifts from his fathers constant business trips abroad. But his nights have come to revolve around his mothers increasingly disturbing bedside stories full of old family bitterness. And then one day Suleiman sees his father across the square of a busy marketplace, his face wrapped in a pair of dark sunglasses. Wasnt he supposed to be away on business yet again? Why did he lie? Suleiman is soon caught up in a world he cannot hope to understandwhere the sound of the telephone ringing becomes a portent of grave danger; where his mother frantically burns his fathers cherished books; where a stranger full of sinister questions sits outside in a parked car all day; where his best friends father can disappear overnight, next to be seen publicly interrogated on state television. In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the private fallout of a public nightmare. But above all, it is a debut of rare insight and literary grace.