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Mahi Binebine and Abdellah Taïa, in the Prix Renaudot Spring Selection 

Written by FDM

Mahi Binebine’s novel “Rue du Pardon” and Abdellah Taïa’s “la vie lente” are part of the Prix Renaudot spring selection announced by the jury on May 14th.

On May 14th, the Renaudot Prize jury announced its spring selection. 12 novels and 7 essays selected. Among them are the books of Moroccan writers Mahi Binebine and Abdellah Taia.

“Rue du Pardon” published on May 9 by Editions Stock is a book in which Mahi Binebine embarks the reader in a very modest street of Marrakech in which grew the narrator of his novel, Hayat (“life” in Arabic). Her neighborhood is poor, only malice thrives. Hayat who is different since she was born a blonde, arouses the sneers of all. Her mother is ashamed, her father has a satanic face and her neighbors look like snakes … she encounters so many difficulties but she’s still full of “life”, as we read the synopsis of the book. Like a bird coming out of its cage, Hayat escapes and resurrects thanks to Mamyta, the greatest oriental dancer of the Kingdom. Mamyta is a kind of geisha – singer, dancer, coach, lover. A free woman in a country based on the forbidden.

As for the novel, “La vie lente” by Abdellah Taïa published on March 7 by Editions Seuil, it brings us back to the time of the 2015 attacks in France. He tells us the story of Mounir, a 40-year-old homosexual Parisian of Moroccan origin, who lives in a precarious situation. His neighbor from above, Mrs. Marty, an 80 years old lady, lives, too, with difficulty. A friendship bound between these two excluded from the Republic, before it turns into a nightmare. Clashes and rifts follow. Exasperated, Mrs. Marty calls the police to stop Mounir … Commissioner Antoine makes his entry and suspects the young man of links with the jihadists …

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