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The Invisible Moroccan: Reading Hassan Najmi’s ‘Gertrude,’ Reading Tangiers

In Hassan Najmi’s “Gertrude” (trans. Roger Allen, 2014), the author quietly inserts a Moroccan from Tangiers into the tumultuous turn-of-the-20th-century lives of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. This quietness echoes with the oddness and invisibility of Tanjawi Moroccans in the works of American authors who spent time in the international zone — Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, and others.

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