Category Archives: Morocco

Literature of Morocco for a General English-Reading Audience



Several people have asked me for suggested reading from Moroccan literature. Here are some ideas…

For language learning:

  • Sakulich, Aaron. Moroccan Arabic: Shnoo the Hell is Going on Hnaa? A Practical Guide to Learning Moroccan Darija (2009)


  • Hamdouchi, Abdelilah. The Final Bet: An Arabic Detective Novel 2008 translated by Jonathan Smolin (Arabic: Al-rihān al-akhīr 2001)
  • Lalami, Laila. Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (2005) – a novel about contemporary Moroccan society, written by a Moroccan-American author
  • Toufik, Ahmed. Abu Musa’s Women Neighbors – a historical novel set in medieval Morocco, including mystics, romance, and shipwreck


  • Abouzeid, Leila. Year of the Elephant 1989 (Arabic: ‘Ām al-fīl 1983) – from the independence era of the 1950s. You can read my review.
  • Mernissi, Fatima. Dreams of Trespass (1995) – a famous feminist, sociologist, and social critic writes about her childhood in a traditional home of Fes in the 1940s.

Short stories:

  • Mohammed Zefzaf is well known for his short stories depicting daily life, but they’re not published in English yet to my knowledge. I found three stories in translation in an article, and would be happy to send a copy on request.
  • Clark, Peter, ed. Sardines and Oranges: Short Stories from North Africa. London: Banipal Books, 2005. (includes Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia)
  • Barrière, Loïc. Des nouvelles du Maroc. Paris: Editions Eddif; Editions Paris-Méditerranée, 1999. Just in case you read French…

Folk Literature:

  • El Koudia, Jilali. Moroccan Folktales. Syracuse: Syracuse UP, 2003.
  • Peyron, Michael, trans. and ed. Berber Odes: Poetry from the Mountains of Morocco – a beautiful little collection!

Cultural Resources:

If you’re traveling to Morocco, here is advice from MarocMama on clothing to pack for men and for women.