This pioneering postcolonial work, originally published in 1966, was the first breakthrough Moroccan novel to be written in native Moroccan Arabic, rather than in French. Written after the country gained independence, the story follows the trajectory of two generations of al-Tihamis — a well-to-do family residing in Fez’s ancient medina — whose members characterize distinctive aspects of Moroccan society, and whose lives reflect the profound social changes taking place during the period.
Bridging two worlds, We Have Buried the Past begins during the quieter days of the late colonial period; here we are introduced to a world of seemingly timeless tradition, in which the al-Tihami household is presided over by the family patriarch, al-Haj Muhammad, and where religion is unquestioned and all-pervading. However, the coming upheaval and imminent social transition are reflected through the lives of al-Haj Muhammad’s three sons—in particular his second son, Abderrahman, who will defy his father and come to symbolise the break between the old ways and the new.
by ‘Abd al-karim Ghallab, translated by Roger Allen (trans)
Haus Publishing, October 2018 (ISBN 9781910376409)