Spring, 1990. After years of searching in vain, a stranger passes a scrap of paper to Zina. It’s from Aziz: the man who vanished the day after their wedding almost two decades ago. It propels Zina on a final quest for a secret desert jail in southern Morocco, where her husband crouches in despair, dreaming of his former life. Youssef Fadel pays powerful testament to a terrible period in Morocco’s history, known as ‘the Years of Cinders and Lead,’ and masterfully evokes the suffering inflicted on those who supported the failed coup against King Hassan II in 1972.
A Rare Blue Bird Flies with Me
Spring, 1990. After years of searching in vain, a stranger passes a scrap of paper to Zina. It’s from Aziz: the man who vanished the day after their
Award-winning Moroccan novelist and screenwriter Youssef Fadel was born in Casablanca in 1949. During Morocco’s ‘Years of Lead’ he was imprisoned in the notorious Moulay Cherif prison (1974–75). A Rare Blue Bird Flies with Me is his ninth novel. He lives in Casablanca, Morocco. Translator Jonathan Smolin is the author of the critically acclaimed Moroccan Noir: Police, Crime, and Politics in Popular Culture (2013). He lives in Hanover, NH.
Jonathan Smolin is the Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor in Asian Studies at Dartmouth College in the US. He is the translator of several works of Arabic fiction, including Whitefly by Abdelilah Hamdouchi and A Rare Blue Bird Flies with Me by Youssef Fadel.