SAJF (Kotba Calleja, 2022)

Sajf, the debut novel by Ryan Falzon, takes readers on a captivating journey through a scorching summer filled with vintage cars, excessive drinking, and the constant allure of adventure lurking around every corner. Published in November 2022 by Kotba Calleja, Sajf stands as a literary testament to the millennial generation and the emerging Gen-Z era, providing a generational voice for those born between 1980 and the present.

The novel embraces the first-person perspective, immersing readers in the protagonist's experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Through this intimate lens, Sajf captures the essence of millennial life, marked by the unique blend of growing up as digital natives. Millennials have witnessed the rapid advancements of technology, although not to the extent of their younger counterparts. This positions them in a unique vantage point, allowing them to reflect on the contrasting worlds before and after the influx of technology.

Within the pages of Sajf, uncertainty becomes a prevailing theme, mirroring the complex realities faced by millennials and Gen-Zers. The narrative delves deep into the protagonist's psyche, exploring the moral dualism that often plagues their thoughts. In a world where choices seem infinite yet consequences are uncertain, the characters grapple with their own sense of right and wrong, navigating the blurred lines of morality.

Sajf paints a vivid picture of a hot and restless season, where vintage cars serve as a metaphor for the intertwining themes of nostalgia, freedom, and the perpetual desire for new experiences. As the characters tinker with these classic automobiles, they also seek to unravel their own identities and find their place in a rapidly changing world. The relentless heat of the summer serves as a backdrop, mirroring the intensity of the characters' emotions and the simmering tensions beneath the surface.

Amidst the sweltering days and nights, excessive drinking becomes a recurrent motif, reflecting the search for solace, escape, and camaraderie. The characters' choices in intoxication become symbolic of their attempts to cope with the overwhelming weight of expectations, societal pressures, and the ever-present search for meaning.

Sajf captures the zeitgeist of the millennial and Gen-Z generations, encapsulating their struggles, desires, and hopes. Ryan Falzon's novel embraces a flowing narrative style, immersing readers in a world where uncertainty reigns and moral dilemmas abound. Described as a voice of a generation, it offers a lens through which we can contemplate the generational shifts and challenges of our time, while also reminding us of the enduring human desire for adventure, connection, and self-discovery.

Copies of SAJF available through Kotba Calleja (Rabat, Malta), Mallia & D'Amato and il-lokal (Valletta).

Using Format