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“A actual tale of human desperation, shattering in its impact.”—Tennessee Williams

Driven through famine from their domestic within the Rif, Mohamed’s relatives walks to Tangiers looking for a greater lifestyles. yet his father is not able to discover paintings and grows violent. Mohamed learns tips to appeal and thieve. in the course of a quick spell in a grimy Moroccan penal complex, a fellow inmate kindles his life-altering love of poetry.

The unusual author Paul Bowles, possibly top identified for his novel The Sheltering Sky, collaborated heavily with Mohamed Choukri at the translation of For Bread Alone, and penned the introduction.

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She went and acquired me a section of buttered bread and a tumbler of espresso. I must have been ashamed to refuse her generosity. besides the fact that, I resolved to wake up previous sooner or later. i used to be commencing to mistrust those that confirmed goodwill in the direction of me, whether or not they have been males or girls. I lower back to the bakery the place I had so frequently slept some time past, the place i'd roll myself up like a hedgehog, my again driven opposed to the nice and cozy oven. each time I circulate within the evening, or wake up to move out and relieve myself, i locate a number of cats asleep on best of me. usually I loved the sound in their purring. It jogged my memory of a motor getting into manufacturing facility. I enjoyed muted sounds, whether or not they got here from a ways or close to. The songs from the cafès, heard from distant, have been superbly unhappy. one other morning it was once a guy who woke me up. Aren’t you the son of Si Haddou? No, I’m now not. He insisted. Aren’t you his son Mohamed? No. I’m now not his son. Then what's your identify? Mohamed. yet your father is Si Haddou Allal Choukri. And your mom is Sida Maimouna. I instructed you no. who's your father, then? He’s useless. He died many years in the past. And what used to be his identify? I don’t understand. You don’t be aware of the identify of your personal father? I did understand it, yet I’ve forgotten. i used to be nonetheless in my mother’s stomach whilst he died. He checked out me a second, after which acknowledged: It seems to be to me as though there’s anything the problem together with your mind. He held out pesetas. right here. you need to be hungry. pass and purchase your self a few breakfast. I don’t desire something, I acknowledged curtly. i've got cash. He appeared mystified. I don’t comprehend. you may have cash, and also you sleep the following within the nook like a cat. You’re a bit loopy. i used to be offended. The cat is you, and you’re thoroughly loopy! all of sudden I howled into his face, like a wolf. Aaaaooou! Then I walked away, leaving him status there, asserting: Bismillah rahman er rahim! guard me from the teenagers of this day! My mom now gave start to a different woman, whom she named Zohra, after the person who had simply died. A rat bit her at the hand one evening, and she or he died, too. My father had a behavior of stealing up at the back of me on the street and seizing my blouse collar. Then with one hand he might twist my arm in the back of my again, whereas with the opposite he might beat me until eventually the blood ran. whilst that occurred, I knew the thick army belt used to be ready at domestic for me. And whilst his legs and arms have been drained from beating and kicking, he may chew my shoulders and palms, pinch my ears, and buffet my face together with his fists. If he catches me on the street, an individual often intervenes and units me unfastened. yet he has realized to not do it on the street. So now, whilst he grabs me I fall to the pavement and yell as loud as i will. he'll sweep the pavement with me for a second, kicking me all of the whereas, until eventually I be ready to get out of his grip and move a long way sufficient clear of him with a view to curse him. One morning I sat in a café smoking kif with pickpockets. We determined to interact that day as a way to spend an evening of debauchery on the brothel. We went to the Plaza Nueva the place the gang was once densest. It used to be now not lengthy prior to I felt the livid grip of my father’s hand at the again of my neck.

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