The Bottom of the Jar by Abdellatif Laabi

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The Bottom of the Jar is the journey of a boy finding his footing in the heart of Fez during the 1950s, as Morocco began freeing itself from the grip of the French colonial occupation. The narrator vividly recalls his first encounters with the ebullient city, family dramas, and the joys and turbulence of his childhood. He recalls a renegade, hashish-loving uncle, who at nightfall transforms into a beloved Homer, his salt-of-the-earth mother¢s impassioned pleas to a Divine ear, and his father¢s enduring generosity. Told in the spirit of a late-night ramble among friends where hilarious anecdotes and poignant recollections flow in equal parts, Laâbi¢s autobiographical novel offers us a generous glimpse into the formative experiences of a great poet, whose integrity and commitment to social justice earned him an eight-and-a-half year prison sentence during Morocco¢s "year of lead" in The 1970s.

About Abdellatif Laabi

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Poet, novelist, playwright, translator, and political activist, Abdellatif Laâbi was born in Fez, Morocco in 1942. He was also the founder of Souffles, and important literary review that was banned in Morocco in 1972. Laâbi received the Prix Robert Ganzo de Poésie in 2008, the Prix Goncourt de la Poésie for his Oeuvres complètes in 2009, and the Académie Française's Grand Prix de la Francophonie in 2011. Also available in English are his debut collection of poetry The Rule of Barbarism, the memoir Rue de Retour, and The World¢s Embrace: Selected Poems. André Naffis-Sahely?s translations include Laâbi?s The Rule of Barbarism (Pirogue Poets Series), and Rachid Boujedra?s The Barbary Figs and The Funerals (Arabia Books). His translation of Émile Zola?s L?argent is forthcoming from Penguin Classics. He lives in London.
Published March 19, 2013 by Archipelago. 234 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction