Fugitive LightBy Mohammed Berrada
An Arab artist in Tangier grapples with political and erotic issues in this pivotal work by the most celebrated Moroccan author of the past twenty-five years. Cosmopolitan Tangier, heart and soul of Morocco, sets the stage for this smoldering novel of dreams and lovers, both before and after the nation's independence. Al 'Ayshuni, a middle-aged painter of bohemian and political inclinations has fallen in love with a younger woman, the alluring Ghaylana. But fate intervenes when she leaves him for new adventures in Spain. Now, Al 'Ayshuni befriends Ghaylana's daughter, the impressionable Fatima. Even as Al 'Ayshuni struggles to recapture the "fugitive light" of his lost youth - as well as that of a younger generation of artists and activists - so Fatima discovers the twin fires of love and revolution, both of which are doomed to extinction. Written with the simplicity of a parable and imbued with a visceral visual sense, this remarkable book explores the lives of three people whose hopes and passions are ruled - and ultimately shattered - by laws both visible and unseen. Fugitive Light explores the profound dilemma of Moroccan artists torn between old French ties and youthful anti-colonialism. Struggling to balance two cultures, they exist in a landscape haunted by inner conflict and governed at once by abandon and conformity.