The novel, Chraibi’s first, is told in the voice of a vibrantly angry young man in revolt both against a father’s tyranny and the hypocrisies of his colonial education. Back in 1954, it was compared to an explosion, and it remains powerful, both because some of the same issues remain, and because of the incendiary anger of its protagonist.
The Simple Past, was newly re-issued from NYRB Classics in Hugh A. Harter’s old 1990 translation, with a new introduction from Adam Shatz. Shatz’s introduction is available online at the NYR Daily.
Excerpts from Chraibi’s interview with Federico Arbós can be found at Fragmentos de la entrevista con Federico Arbós, El Mundo/La Esfera, 28/3/92.