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Published:March 23rd, 2012 15:02 EST
Sailing Across the Great East-West Divide

Sailing Across the Great East-West Divide

By SOP newswire2

[For review copies, interviews and information, contact Mira Publishing House, PO Box 312, Leeds LS 16 OFN, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom; mira@intelligentread.com]

LONDON "Mira Publishing House could hardly release the first book of Djelloul Marbrook`s Light Piercing Water trilogy at a more opportune time, offering a compelling Arab-American mariner and stunning glimpses of historic Arab contributions to the world in which we live. Beginning and ending in Manhattan, Bo Cavalieri`s story goes to Germany, Morocco, Oman and points east as the highly decorated former Navy frogman wanders the world, signing onto merchant ships as an able seaman, a bosun, a navigator, a chief mate, or a captain, depending on the ship.

In Hamburg he sits in a dingy rathskeller night after night sketching the German barmaid Ute-Britt and her lover, the Moroccan guest boy Lakhdar who buses tables. Thanks to Bo`s shipmate Gunderson and a fatal misunderstanding, the boy hangs himself. Bo quits his ship and takes the boy`s body to Morocco for burial. He meets a British couple, Peter and Moira, who persuade him to sign on as captain and take their ship to La Spezia for repairs and then Oman for marine archaeology research on the Pearl Route. He meets the Omani sultan, who takes a liking to him and grants them permission to dive in Omani waters.

Diving in those waters with the Omani outlaw Uthman he discovers a momentous wreck. No one had ever seen the remains of a Portuguese caravel, the Model T Ford of the 15th Century, but there in a debris field Bo and Uthman discover the Sao Tiago.

After becoming Moira`s lover Bo discovers she and Peter have a forbidding secret. It torments him. He asks the old sultan to find him work on an Omani ship in return for teaching the sailors modern navigational skills. The ship turns out to be a slaver selling Somali women to brothels. He kills the captain, distributes his money to the crew and returns the women to their country. But the navigator has lost his way and returns to Manhattan and a struggle with his demons. He has become the guest boy.

Bo Cavalieri`s surname is his Sicilian stepfather`s. His father was an Algerian Bedouin he never knew, and Ulrike, his mother, is a German-American artist of breathtaking narcissism. Bo has an amazing gift "he draws like Da Vinci, draws but can`t bring himself to use color "that`s Ulrike`s realm "not even colored pencils and chalks. In this way he comes to see his own desolation.

Guest Boy debuts at the London Book Fair April 15-18 and will be followed shortly by the other two books of the trilogy, Crowds of One and The Gold Factory. Artists` Hill, an excerpt from Crowds of One, won the 2008 Literal Latté prize in fiction.

As the trilogy unfolds, it dispels myths and misperceptions about the Arabs, establishing their rightful place as indispensable benefactors of the Western world and an inextricable part of its history.

Djelloul Marbrook is a prize-winning poet. His first poetry collection, Far From Algiers (2008, Kent State University Press), won the 2007 Stan and Tom Wick Prize and the 2010 International Book Award in poetry. His second poetry book, Brushstrokes and Glances (2011, Deerbrook Editions, 2011) also won critical acclaim. His books of fiction include Saraceno (2012, Bliss Plot Press), Artemisia`s Wolf (2011, Prakash Books Ltd.), and Alice Miller`s Room (1999, Online Originals).

Light Piercing Water is the culmination of a 15-year literary and research project. A remodeling of The Odyssey, its rich lore explores Arab alchemy, seafaring, pearl diving, mathematics, literature and architecture. Its fast-moving pages teem with fascinating characters "a brilliant and beautiful British mathematician, a conservator of ancient musical instruments, a Chechen arms dealer, a retired IRA bomber, a PLO assassin, artists and street people. It is set in Germany, Morocco, Sicily, Oman, Manhattan, Woodstock, New York, and England.

For More Information: www.delmarbrook.com