The Book of Doubt
Tessa de Loo Haus Publishing, 2011 Library of Congress PT5881.22.O524H3713 2011 | Dewey Decimal 839.31364
Even though he is the son of a Dutch mother, Saeed has a Moroccan first name in memory of the virtuoso oud player his mother fell in love with twenty years ago. When she found out she was pregnant, he ran off and returned to Morocco. Saeed decides to look for his father, in the hope of finding a new identity in a new world. His childhood friend Hassan accompanies him. Back then they shared an imaginary land which they both ruled. Now they only have one starting point: a grocery shop in Fez. From there they follow the trail of the oud player, who leads them from the cedar woods of Ifrane to the red dunes of the desert to the high Atlas, where Kasbahs are locked in a losing battle with decay. Saeed's search sends him deeper into disillusionment and into the arms of Islam, where he tries to find something to hold on to. But there is a disturbing presence. A seemingly fictitious character from their imaginary past infiltrates Saeed's quest. While Saeed desperately tries to get rid of him, different aspects of his life, more and more beyond his control, reach an apotheosis resulting in one final deed affecting man and beast alike.
In Byron's Footsteps
Tessa de Loo Haus Publishing, 2010 Library of Congress PR4384.L6413 2010 | Dewey Decimal 914.965044
When Tessa de Loo saw Albania for the first time, no foreigners were allowed to enter. Filled with a great curiosity, longing, and a sense of wonderment by this isolated land, de Loo gazed toward the mountains that stood like "the backs of patiently waiting elephants" across the water from Corfu. Inspired by the famous Thomas Phillips portrait of Lord Byron in Albanian national costume, and enthralled by the image of Lord Byron since her teenage years, she sets about exploring not only his physical journey, but attempts to understand his inner one as well. de Loo stole her way in and found a country suffering the hardships of post-communist reality and the constant and sometimes fractious clash between tradition and modernity. In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin, de Loo, the award-winning author of The Twins, has written a fascinating travelogue and a very personal reassessment of the a formative chapter in Lord Byron's short life.