"Set in Tangier, this Moroccan novel in translation tells a dense and dreamy story of an aging artist reflecting on his life and loves. Al Ayshuni was adopted by a wealthy mentor who nurtured his talent and provided a villa and a bank account, freeing him for life from the issues of survival. He focused instead on chasing perfection in his paintings and fell in love with a younger woman, Ghaylana, whom he eventually lost by refusing to commit. She disappeared when her family found her a husband. As the story opens, Al Ayshuni is visited by Ghaylana's daughter, Fatima, who brings memories and creates some exotic new ones, too. This complicated girl and her mother have alluring stories to tell and provide Al Ayshuni with much to ponder. This is an intriguing story that should be read slowly. The density of the author's musings offers readers much to savor."—Booklist
Cosmopolitan Tangier, heart and so ul of Morocco, sets the stage for this smoldering novel of dreams and lovers, both before and after the nation’s independence.
Al ‘Ayshuni, a middle-aged painter of bohemian and political inclinations has fa ll en in love with a younger woman, the alluring Ghaylana. But fate intervenes when she leaves him for new adventures in Spain . Now, Al ‘Ayshuni befriends Ghaylana’s daughter, the impressionable Fatima. Even as Al ‘Ayshuni struggles to recapture the “fugitive light” of his lost youth—as well as that of a younger generation of artists and activists—so Fatima discovers the twin fires of love and revolution, both of which are doomed to extinction.
Written with the simplicity of a parable and imbued with a viscera l visual sense, this remarkable book explores the lives of three people whose hopes and passions are ruled-and ultimately shattered- by laws both visible and unseen. Fugitive Light explores the profound dilemma of Moroccan artists torn between old French ties and youthful anti-colonialism. Struggling to balance two cultures, they exist in a landscape haunted by inner conflict and governed at once by abandon and conformity.
About the Author
Mohammed Berrada is a key figure in Moroccan letters. His works of fiction include the acclaimed The Game of Forgetting, A Summer Never To Be Repeated, and a short story anthology, Shinning. His other books include works on literary criticism and theory, and several translations from the French.
Issa J. Boullata is professor emeritus at McGill University in Montreal. He is a well-known literary scholar, critic and translator. He translated Berrada's first novel, The Game of Forgetting.
Series: Middle East Literature in Translation
5.5 x 8, 188 pages