The complete short stories of acclaimed Moroccan author Mohamed Choukri, translated into English and collected in one volume for the first time
A World Literature Today Notable Translation of 2023
“Choukri is one of Morocco’s most revered figures. . . . To have his words translated is to have the privilege to view the inner world of his intellect and the obscured landscapes of Tangier.”—Noshin Bokth, The New Arab
Mohamed Choukri’s vivid stories invite the reader to wander the streets of Tangier, the ancient coastal crossroads between Europe and Africa, and to meet its denizens at markets, beaches, cafés, and brothels. Choukri’s Tangier is a place where newborns are for sale, swindlers hawk the Prophet’s shoes, and boys collect trash to sell for food.
Choukri says that “writing is a protest, not a parade.” And in these thirty-one stories he privileges the voices of those ignored by society: the abused, the abandoned, the addicted. The tales are at once vibrant local vignettes and profound reflections on the lives, sufferings, and hopes of Choukri’s fellow Tangerines.
Mohamed Choukri (1935–2003), who did not learn to read or write until the age of twenty, is a key contrarian voice in twentieth-century Arabic literature and the author of the controversial memoir For Bread Alone. Jonas Elbousty is director of undergraduate studies at the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale University. He lives in New Haven, CT. Roger Allen is Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.
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