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"Morocco's greatest living author." - The Guardian UK"A writer of social and moral acuteness." - Los Angeles Times "A writer of much originality." - The Chicago Tribune Lalla Fatma believes she is in Fez in 1944 - where she grew up - not in Tangier in 2000, where the story begins.Guided by her fragmented memories, Ben Jelloun reimagines his mother's life in Fez at the end of the war, in the heavily ritualised world of custom and tradition that saw her married, pregnant, and widowed by sixteen. He gains privileged, painful access to her lives as daughter, sister, thrice-widowed wife - lives in which she had little say, mostly spent working in kitchens, marked by a deep religious faith and love for her family - as Alzheimer's rips them all away.

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