Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow

So, how many of you have come across this book then? I could only find it in American translation, so presumably the British market does what it’s good at, and ignores minority language books. French is a minority language isn’t it? Foreign, and all that. The author, Faïza Guène was here this afternoon, to receive a prize for her first book, and to talk about it.

I must be mad, too, as the seminar was in French, albeit with translations as they went along. The witch does a few languages, but French isn’t one of them. But it was really good. The seminar. The book. And Faïza spoke enough English to let me get my coveted autograph.

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow is about a young girl growing up in a Paris suburb with her Moroccan born mother. Her father’s gone back to Morocco and married again, expecting to be rewarded with a son at long last. This is a very funny book, even though it deals with poor Arab immigrants and their problems.

Faïza was inspired by Salinger, reading Catcher in the Rye with the help of a dictionary. Her heroine Doria is a strong girl, with beautiful powers of observation as regards her surroundings. It’s not an autobiographical story, but Faïza and Doria obviously have a lot in common.

This is a wonderful book and well worth trying for a taste of something different.

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