The Sacred Night
The Sacred Night continues the remarkable story Tahar Ben Jelloun began in The Sand Child. Mohammed Ahmed, a Moroccan girl raised as a boy in order to circumvent Islamic inheritance laws regarding female children, remains deeply conflicted about her identity. In a narrative that shifts in and out of reality moving between a mysterious present and a painful past, Ben Jelloun relates the events of Ahmed's adult life. Now calling herself Zahra, she renounces her role as only son and heir after her father's death and journeys through a dreamlike Moroccan landscape.
A searing allegorical portrait of North African society, The Sacred Night uses Arabic fairy tales and surrealist elements to craft a stunning and disturbing vision of protest and rebellion against the strictures of hidebound traditions governing gender roles and sexuality.
About the Authors
Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in Fez, Morocco, in 1944 and has lived in France since 1971. An internationally recognized novelist, poet, playwright, and essayist, Ben Jelloun has received numerous awards for his works, including the Prix Maghreb, the Prix des Hemispheres and the Legion of Honor. His books include Solitaire, Silent Day in Tangier, With Downcast Eyes, Corruption, and Racism Explained to My Daughter. He is also a regular contributor to Le Monde. His novel The Sand Child is also available from Johns Hopkins.
"Impressive... Though [the story] suggests a number of allegorical interpretations, the surface of the narrative proceeds with enough sheer pleasure and lack of pretension to deeper meanings to ensure that these are rarely overt... Gender, sexuality, the cultures they impose, and the restrictions imposed on them by cultures, are a form of imprisonment; yet so, too, is the attempt to evade them."
"Haunting, often hallucinogenic."
"A writer of much originality."
|Johns Hopkins University Press|
Other Titles by Tahar Ben Jelloun
Other Titles by Alan Sheridan
Other Titles in FICTION / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Other Titles in Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)