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The Director and Other Stories from Morocco
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New stories by Leila Abouzeid, the noted Moroccan writer, constitute an event for both East and West, for, as in her critically acclaimed novel, Year of the Elephant, the author cuts across cultural and national boundaries to offer fiction that has meaning for both Western and Middle Eastern readers. The stories in this volume deal with issues both traditional and modern-relations between parents and children, between husbands and wives, and between citizens of newly independent Morocco and its new nationalist representative government.

Independence from French colonial rule has brought many changes to Morocco— some more beneficial than others. Women have entered the work force in great numbers, a development which has brought them new freedoms, but which has also caused problems within the traditional family. Abouzeid shows us how these changes have affected ordinary men and women, how small everyday events loom large in individual lives. To her crisp style, reminiscent of some Western realist novelists, she adds elements of Arabic fiction— the oral story-telling technique, for example.

Abouzeid writes first in Arabic, which she has stated is a political choice. This makes her a literary pioneer in North Africa, where, until recently, most authors wrote in French. Elizabeth Warnock Fernea has written an introduction for this book, setting the stories in historical context.

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New stories about modern Morocco and its people by critically acclaimed author Leila Abouzeid.

Table of Contents

Author's Preface Introduction The Bathing Suit Grandfather's Story A Jealous Wife The Director A Hollywood Star A Genius Filmmaker Her Best Friend The Trade Unionist Abderrahim Phone Call The Baker Two Stories of a House A Notion of Progress The Ranch What Attitude? From the Diary of a Parliamentary Employee A Paying Guest Mrs. O'Grady Medi Moha and the Sea Glossary

About the Author

LEILA ABOUZEID is a pioneer among Moroccan women writers. She studied at Mohammed V University in Rabat and at the University of Texas at Austin. She began her career as a radio and TV journalist and also worked as a press assistant in government ministries and in the prime minister's office. In 1992 she left journalism to dedicate herself to writing. Abouzeid's fiction has been translated from Arabic into English, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Maltese, French, Turkish, and Urdu. Elizabeth Warnock Fernea (1927-2008) was Professor of Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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