First published in 1995, the 211-page novel highlights the apparent or latent conflicts that shake Moroccan society around women, modernity in the 21st century, European influence and the lives of young adolescents.
The complex question of this Moroccan modernity, posited in the novel, could not be satisfied with an unequivocal answer. The author has therefore tried to bring elements of answer to this question in all its aspects through the characters who embody a way, a mode of possible evolution, sometimes an issue.
Among these characters, there is “Mama”, a woman child married at the age of sixteen having opted for a violent and destructive passage of submission to debauchery, or the character of the father, who, haunted by innumerable contradictions and torn between modernity and tradition, will eventually take refuge under the reassuring and opaque wing of religion.
“Leila”, on the other hand, the heroine of the novel leads a real quest for identification especially after leaving for her studies in France, where she discovers the idealism of militancy, the tears of passion and the bitterness of loneliness. Returning to the sources, Leila must confront herself before finding her voice, that of the heart, which represents the point of balance between all the others, combining, not without clash, tradition and modernity, religion and rationalism, femininity and maternity, work and family.
A writer and journalist, Bahaa Trabelsi’s books include “La chaise du concierge”, “Une vie à trois, Slim, les femmes, la mort” and “Parlez mois d’amour” for which the Moroccan author won the Prix Ivoire for the Francophone Expression Literature 2014.