Mahmoud Saeed’s third novel in English translation (after Saddam City and The World Through the Eyes of Angels), Ben Barka Lane is set in the Morocco of the late 1960s. That’s after King Hassan II’s statement that, “There is no danger greater for the State than that of self-styled intellectuals. You would have been better off remaining illiterate.”
The quote is from Marilyn Hacker’s delightful introduction to Moroccan poet Rachida Madani’s collection, Tales of a Severed Head, trans. Hacker. Saeed’s book launch is tomorrow at noon CST.