For Bread Alone

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

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

The uncommon author Paul Bowles, maybe 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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And whilst he thinks a lady has forgiven him, he might be going immediately in the direction of the difficulty he initially anticipated. Salvation and catastrophe depend on the way in which she occurs to believe for the time being. I sensed that Monique didn't blame me for what I had performed, yet neither may well she enable it move neglected. And so she requested me: Are you ill? No, I’m now not ill. Then why didn’t you return to paintings this day? i didn't solution. Then I acknowledged: The jackals killed Tigre final evening. Your uncle instructed me. terrible puppy! He used to be strong and robust. the place did you bury him? lower than an olive tree. Your uncle will locate one other puppy. She received up and took my hand. Her goodwill made me much more ashamed. Allez! Come to the home with me, she acknowledged. Then she hasn’t advised her husband, i presumed. possibly she was once ashamed to. I had frequently dreamed of having the ability to fly. Likewise I had dreamed of being in a cave strewn with lengths of silk and rugs, and the place the partitions have been painted with great designs. I had in simple terms to make a gesture, and a platter will be there, bearing no matter what it was once that I felt like consuming. If I clapped my palms, a marvellous lady would seem, person who had by no means been touched by means of a guy, to bounce bare in a fog of incense smoke earlier than me. One morning after her husband had long past out, I observed Monique pass into the rest room with a packet of cotton and a couple of her underpants. within the rubbish pail I had frequently noticeable wads of cotton soaked with darkish blood. I questioned the place the blood got here from. I walked rigorously over to the door and peeked throughout the keyhole. She takes to the air the undies she has on and sits down at the bidet. She makes water. Then she washes among her legs. She pats a small towel into her wound, just like the first girl I ever slept with within the brothel in Tetuan. She seizes a handful of absorbent cotton, pulls out the towel and examines it, and throws it into the bath. Then she places the cotton into the wound and pulls at the fresh underpants. I questioned if all girls bled like this one, like beautiful Monique. in the event that they bleed for all time, it’s disgusting. there has been a boy who lived within sight, a bit more youthful than I. sooner or later we took a stroll into the rustic. I informed him we have been going to capture birds within the traps we carried with us. The boy was once good-looking, and gentle as a woman. He wore shorts that got here above his knees. We ate meat and hard-boiled eggs lower than the olive timber. Then I persuaded him to smoke a cigarette and drink a bit wine. He coughed whilst he attempted to inhale the smoke, and after he had under the influence of alcohol from the bottle he shuddered. this is often the 1st time I’ve smoked or under the influence of alcohol wine, he stated, and that i instructed him what that they had instructed me in Tetuan: You won’t cough or make faces the following time. that occurs basically the 1st time. It used to be a similar manner with me. Do you're feeling ill? I requested him. slightly. We walked right into a box of wheat. To be under the influence of alcohol is enjoyable. His cheeks are crimson, his lips vibrant crimson. We sat down in the midst of the wheat, and that i lay again. He did likewise. i presumed of Tetuan, of a tune that started: I enjoyed a lady in Andalucia. She used to be younger, she used to be tiny, she used to be tanned.

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