A “sharply satirical” novel about an oppressive religious dictatorship and one man’s discovery of an underground resistance (Library Journal).
2015 Winner of the Le Grand Prix du Roman de l’Académie française
A tribute to George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 and a cry of protest against totalitarianism of all kinds, Boualem Sansal’s 2084 tells the story of a near future in which religious extremists have established a caliphate that forbids autonomous thought. In the year 2084, in the kingdom of Abistan—named after the prophet Abi, earthly messenger of the god Yölah—citizens submit to a single god, demonstrating their devotion by kneeling in prayer nine times a day. Remembering the past is forbidden, and an omnipresent surveillance system instantly informs the authorities of every deviant act, thought, or idea.
The kingdom is blessed and its citizens are happy, filled with purpose and piety. Those who are not—the heretics—are put to death by stoning or beheading in city squares. But Ati has met people who think differently: In ghettos and caves, hidden from the authorities, exist the last living heretics and free-thinkers of Abistan. Under their influence, Ati begins to doubt. He begins to think. Now, he will have to defend his thoughts with his life.
2084 is “a rare, powerful book, at the intersection of fable and lampoon, of satire and science fiction,” a cry of freedom, a gripping novel of ideas, and an indictment of the kind of closed-minded fundamentalism that threatens our democracies and the ideals on which they are founded (Lire).
“Alison Anderson’s deft and intelligent translation [conveys] Sansal’s abhorrence of a system that controls people’s minds, while explaining that the religion was not originally evil but has been corrupted. A moving and cautionary story.” —The Times Literary Supplement
“A powerful novel that celebrates resistance.” —The Guardian