9 Short Stories by Moroccan Women, in Translation

ArabLit Staff

This week, we continue our Women in Translation Month (#WiTMonth) Wednesday series of “9 Stories” lists. In 2021, we featured short fiction by Sudanese and South Sudanese women, by Algerian women, by Egyptian women, and by Syrian women, all in translation. This year, we added nine-story collections of work by Palestinian and Lebanese women writers, also in translation.

Again, this ad-hoc anthology of Moroccan women’s writing is limited to stories available online, which means we can’t include Hanane Derkaoui’s moving and funny “A Way to Mecca,” translated by Jennifer Pineo-Dunn, which appeared in Marrakesh Noir, any short story by Leila Abouzeid, or Rachida Lamrabet’s “Ammetis, the Sleeper,” translated from Dutch to English by Ina Rilke, for Banipal.

Chefchaouene, Morocco, Wikimedia

Indeed, Moroccan women writers are established as a presence not only in Tamazight, Arabic, French, Spanish, Catalan, and English literature, but also in Dutch, the language in which Lamrabet writes, as did Naima El Bezaz (1974-2020).

Only a handful of Moroccan women writers have short-story collections in English. In addition to Laila Lalami (who wrote hers in English), there is Malika Moustadraf’s Blood Feast, which came out this year in Alice Guthrie’s translation, and Leila Abouzeid’s self-translated The Director and Other Stories, introduced by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea., as well as the stories published alongside Abouzeid’s novella Year of the Elephant, translated by Barbara Parmenter. And while there are a number of excellent stories by Moustadraf online, we have stuck to our rule of one story per author.

Unfortunately, as far as we know, none of the short stories written by Moroccan women in Tamazight have been translated to English. If you know of any, please post them in the comments.

The nine stories:

Malika Moustadraf’s Just Different,” translated by Alice Guthrie (Arabic)

Karima Ahdad’s The Baffling Case of the Man Called Ahmet Yilmaz,” translated by Katherine Van de Vate (Arabic)

Leïla Slimani’s The Rock,” translated by Sam Taylor (French)

Wafa Malih’s No! translated by Khaled al-Masri (Arabic)

Najat El Hachimi’sI Am My Father,” translator not named (Catalan)

Latifa Labsir’sHeaven’s Hand,translated by Alice Guthrie (Arabic)

Latifa Baqa’s Adam’s Apple,” translated by Nariman Youssef (Arabic)

Fatima Zohra Rghioui’s Petty Thefts,”translated by Nashwa Gowanlock (Arabic)

Rachida Lamrabet’s “Younes and the West: The Sea,” translated by Sherry Marx (Dutch)


Other stories by Moustadraf online:

Lousy,” translated by Alice Guthrie

Death,” translated by Alice Guthrie

 “Delusion,” translated by Alice Guthrie

Other stories by Latifa Baqa

Bad Soup,” translated by Ali Azeriah (Arabic)

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