Tahar Ben

Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in Fez in 1944 and pursued studies in philosophy. Doctor of social psychiatry and novelist, he has published nearly 15 books including L’Enfant de sable (English title: The Sand Child) in 1985, La Nuit sacrée (English title: The Sacred Night), which was awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1987, and Cette aveuglante absence de lumière (English title: This Blinding Absence of Light), which won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2001.
He has recently published Jean Genet, menteur sublime and the play Beckett et Genet, un thé à Tanger (Gallimard). Also an author of textbooks, he published Le Racisme expliqué à ma fille (English title: Racism Explained to My Daughter) in 1998 and L’Islam expliqué aux enfants (English title: Islam
Explained) in 2002.

Some of his books have been translated into 43 languages. A writer of poetry, his poems were published by “Poésie Gallimard” (2007). He writes for several newspapers including Le Monde, La Repubblica and Espressov

The novel

A Pigeon in Amsterdam

Tahar Ben Jelloun Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam

When the sun was not too hot, he liked to sit like this on a café terrace, his eyes closed and stories of little import floating through his mind. He ordered fresh-squeezed orange juice and savored it, slowly. He loved such simple pleasures, and he reminded himself that Morocco was indeed a marvelous country after all. The oranges were naturally sweet and the waiters were polite and friendly. His reverie was now interrupted by a warm voice, that of a young woman, a beautiful and enigmatic brunette. She asked him whether he recognized her. He did. She was a friend of his dentist; they had met at a party in Marrakech after the exhibition of an Irish painter. He remembered how her alluring dance to the Oriental rhythms had mesmerized all the men. Spurred by their applause, she had climbed on a table and moved as if in a trance, playing with her long hair, her breasts and her eyes,…

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