To Mohamed Choukri, Tangier was the most extraordinary and mysterious city in the world. No less extraordinary was Choukri, who taught himself to read and write at the age of twenty after a childhood of poverty and petty crime.
A haven for many Western writers in the twentieth century, Tangier drew the likes of Paul Bowles, Jean Genet and Tennessee Williams, all of whom were befriended by Choukri.
Choukri’s recollections of these encounters are collected here in a single volume for the first time, along with an afterword never before published in English. The sights and sounds of 1970s Tangier are vividly brought to life, as are the larger-than-life characters of these cult figures.
Limited Collector’s Edition also available for purchase. This beautiful slipcased set brings three of Choukri’s scarcer works together for the first time.
About the Author
Mohamed Choukri is one of North Africa's most controversial and widely read authors. At the age of twenty he decided to learn to read and write classical Arabic. He went on to become a teacher and writer, finally being awarded the chair of Arabic Literature at Ibn Batuta College in Tangier.
About the Translator
Born in New York in 1910, Paul Bowles is considered one of the most remarkable American authors of the twentieth century. He studied music with composer Aaron Copland before moving to Tangier, Morocco, with his wife, Jane. His first novel, The Sheltering Sky, was a bestseller in the 1950s and was made into a film by Bernardo Bertolucci in 1990. Bowles's prolific career included many musical compositions, novels, collections of short stories, and books of travel, poetry, and translations. His novels include The Spider's Nest, Up Above The World, and Let It Come Down.
‘A rare clarity of vision.’ William Burroughs
‘A marvellous book’ Christopher Isherwood
‘Gently humorous and discreet with a reticent sympathy implicit.’
'It exemplifies Choukri's writing at its best, condensing the grand narratives of a city, a country and an entire cultural milieu undergoing dramatic change into a charming account of a literary encounter.'
Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, The National