A Palace in the Old Village
Author: Tahar Ben Jelloun
Translator: Linda Coverdale
Original language: French
Published by: Arcadia Books, 2011
Award-winning, internationally bestselling author Tahar Ben Jelloun's new novel is the story of an immigrant named Mohammed who has spent forty years in France and is about to retire. Taking stock of his life - his devotion to Islam and to his assimilated children - he decides to return to Morocco, where he spends his life's savings building the biggest house in the village and waits for his children and grandchildren to come be with him. A heartbreaking novel about parents and children, A Palace in the Old Village captures the sometimes stark contrasts between old- and new-world values, and an immigrant's abiding pursuit of home.
With a great sense of poetic sensibility, the author vividly depicts immigrant life in all its colours. Celebrating its many joys while also examining its trappings, he has forged this novel out of his own personal experiences.
'Social realism meets magical realism in Tahar Ben Jelloun’s satisfyingly nuanced account of one immigrant’s life... written with surprising humour'