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The Simple Past



Driss Chra├»bi’s classic coming-of-age story is about colonialism, Islam, the subjection of women, and trying against the odds to find a voice of your own, to fight free.

The Simple Past came out in 1954, and both in France and its author’s native Morocco the book caused an explosion of fury. The protagonist, also known as Driss, comes from a Moroccan family of means, his father a self-made tea merchant, the most devout of Muslims, quick to be provoked and ready to lash out verbally or physically, continually bent on subduing his timid wife and many children to his iron and ever-righteous will.

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