Recommended Reading

A couple of months ago a friend of mine — a poet and a broadcaster — asked about novels set in Morocco, since her work was taking her there for a roughly two-week working tour of the country. She’d read Paul Bowles and excluded Hideous Kinky. I did have a couple of suggestions, but my friends had many more. Here’s a rough list, in no particular order:

  • Mohamed Choukri, For Bread Alone
  • Tahir Shah, The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca
  • James Michener, the Drifters
  • Jeffrey Tayler, Glory in a Camel’s Eye (nonfiction/travel)
  • Linda Holeman, The Saffron Gate
  • Laila Lalami, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
  • Laila Lalami, Secret Son
  • Gavin Maxwell, Lords of the Atlas (nonfiction, formerly banned in Morocco)
  • Elizabeth Fernea, A Street in Marrakech (nonfiction)
  • Peter Mayne, A Year in Marrakech (nonfiction)
  • Abdellah Taia, Salvation Army
  • Abdellah Taia, An Arab Melancholoy
  • Abellah Taia, Infidels
  • Tahar Ben Jelloun, The Sand Child
  • Tahar Ben Jelloun, Leaving Tangier
  • Lawrence Osborne, The Forgiven
  • Fatima Mernissi, Dreams of Trespass (nonfiction)

Without mentioning specific titles, people also recommended books by Driss Chraibi, Walter Burton Harris, Leila Abouzeid, Mohamed Zefzaf, Abdallah Laraoui, Bensalem Himmich, and Abdelhak Serhane,and Mohammed Mrabet’s collaborations with Paul Bowles and Mohamed Choukri. It looks as though I have my reading cut out for me.

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