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IN BRIEF

Fiction

August 08, 1993|SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS

MIMOUN by Rafael Chirbes. (Serpent's Tail: $12.99; 144 pp.) Chirbes is from Valencia, Spain, and this is his first novel. A teacher from Spain moves to Morocco and settles in the little village of Mimoun just outside Fez. And Morocco, like the snake bite that Paul Bowles portrayed it as in so many novels and stories, poisons his already weak morality. He drinks too much, he has too much sex with too many strangers, his life's roots are severed one by one. Everything becomes threatening, the yellow-skinned policeman, various ex-lovers with mysteriously violent natures, minor acquaintances who kill themselves for unknown reasons. Thanks to some very liquid, artful writing, it is unclear who is being paranoid, but you need to leave Mimoun, and fast.

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