Amal Naj

Amal Naj


Pandastic book

A Spell from the Faraway Jungle has sent humans all over the world into hiding in their shuttered homes.

This is good news for animals all over the planet; they have come out of hiding and are enjoying a life of complete freedom out in the open.

A thirteen-year-old girl named Cathrin is caught in between her joy of seeing the animals in her backyard frolicking with complete abandonment and her father’s mission to destroy the Spell.

She embarks on a journey to the Faraway Jungle as she explores the cursed world and encounters the unlikely sorcerer of the Spell who is bent on avenging the killing of innocent animals—and makes a pact for a new order of life in which humans and animals live openly as good neighbors.

“This illustrated story for young readers is a Covid-19 allegory clothed in the trappings of a sweet fairy tale…”

-Kirkus Reviews

“Naj..a man who tells terrific stories that happen to have a foodstuff as a central character.”
-The Los Angeles Times
“Reading Mr. Naj’s book…the pepper comes to seem an essential of life.”
- Christopher Lehamann-Haupt
The New York Times
“..a complete biography of a world hero…a flavorful tale that makes us want to eat peppers.”
-The New York Times Book Review

Published by Alfred A. Knopf/ A Borzoi Book, New York, 1999

“Fiery and fascinating… A remarkable eye for detail and a vividly descriptive voice carry the reader along Naj’s incredible journey. A delightful ride indeed.”
-Robin Mather
Detroit News
“Travel, social history, cooking or just eating—whatever the interest, there’s tempting food for thought in Peppers.”
-The Boston Globe
“A vegetative meditation..”
“Peppers has been chosen as one of the 25 titles in our annual Books To Remember list.”
-1992 Books To Remember Committee
The New York Public Library
“Essential for all libraries whose patrols enjoy hot, spicy food.”
-Library Journal
“A tasty piece of eccentricity…through his unprepossessing subject, Naj unfolds history, economics, psychology and law, showing us a whole world in a grain of pepper.”
-Pico Iyer, Author
“As a Chile aficionado, I couldn’t put this book down.”
-Mark Miller, Chef