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Since the appearance of her first book, The Calligrapher’s Night, which was a big success in France and abroad, Yasmine Ghata has not stopped affirming the originality of her fictional universe, where her origins and her personal experience mix with her fascination for the lost wisdom of the ancient worlds of the Middle East and Africa
Who is Siyah Qalam, also called the “Black Pen,” known for his paintings of the nomads of the steppes of central Asia? This enigmatic artist who lived at the end of the fifteenth century left drawings that are quite different from the aesthetic norms of his time. His realistic style...
Who is Siyah Qalam, also called the “Black Pen,” known for his paintings of the nomads of the steppes of central Asia? This enigmatic artist who lived at the end of the fifteenth century left drawings that are quite different from the aesthetic norms of his time. His realistic style has nothing in common with that of his contemporaries and continues to intrigue modern-day historians of Islamic art. An album held at the Topkapi Palace museum compiling the drawings holds his secret. In them, there are men and women within a summer encampment carrying out their daily tasks, but also depictions of occult ceremonies with demons and other evil creatures. For what reason did this artist from the court of Tabriz leave so many records of these tribes destined for oblivion?
No one can possibly clear up the mystery of these almost magic drawings, with the exception of Suzanne, the heroine of this novel, who, while wandering through the rooms of an exhibition, finds herself seized by a voice from another time and place. It is the errant soul of Aygül, daughter of Siyah Qalam himself, who will put together this singular story of her father, this talented painter who was prey to the tribulations of his time. Across the centuries, a strong link forms between the two women, both dealing with the impossible grief for their fathers.