Moroccan Chronicles

Smihi pays tribute to the art of storytelling-and the grace of life-in this collection of four tales, four cities, and multiple realities. In the old city of Fez, a young boy tries and fails to escape circumcision, and afterwards his mother comforts him with three tales. In one, set amidst the wild performers and chaotic markets of Marrakesh, a group of young boys torment a monkey-handler, until one day the tables (or the chains) are reversed. In Essaouira, in “Orson Welles Square,” a man searches for his lover, but cannot find her in a sea of veils. Finally, in Tangier, a fisherman searches for the fortune he believes is in a whale, but a more modern beast may be his final fate. A 1001 Nights updated with pointed interrogations of masculinity, tradition, immigration, and colonization, Moroccan Chronicles pays tribute to oral storytellers, and how their tales reflect cultural and political realities.

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