Choukri, Mohamed


Choukri, Mohamed
(1935-2003)
   He was born on 15 July 1935 in the village of Bni Chiker near the city of Nador in the Rif region.
   He was one of the most original writers in North Africa. To escape hardship, famine, and a tyrannical father, at the age of 11 he left and settled in Tangier and worked in various jobs. In 1955, at the age of 20, he taught himself to read and write. Shortly afterward, he began his writing career.
   In the 1970s, he met the American expatriate writer and composer Paul Bowls, who encouraged his writing projects and translated his first novel and autobiography, al-khubz al hafi (For Bread Alone), written in 1973. Reminiscent of Mouloud Feraoun's powerful writing style, Choukri describes in stunning details his adolescence during the 1940s illustrated with experiences of vagabondage, prostitution, petty crime, and drug use. Translated into 12 languages and defying all literary rules and religious boundaries in Morocco, his book was banned and would not be available to the Moroccan public until 2000.
   In addition to his famous novel For Bread Alone, Choukri's stories appeared in various literary magazines, such as Harper's Bazaar, Transatlantic, and Antaeus. His major works include Le Fou des Roses (1979), Tennessee Williams in Tangier (1979), The Tent (1985), The Inner Market (1985), Jean Genet in Tangier (1990), Jean Genet et Tennessee Williams à Tanger (1992), Streetwise (1994), Zoco Chico (1996), Paul Bowles: Le reclus de Tanger (1997), and Temptation of the White Blackbird (1998). Choukri died on 13 November 2003.

Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . . 2014.

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