The Elusive Fox
Translated from the Arabic by Mbarek Sryfi and Roger Allen
The first English translation of Muhammad Zafzaf’s novel of a coastal
Moroccan city and its gritty underbelly.
"The Elusive Fox is an indelible portrait of a man in transit and a
country in transition. Zafzaf writes without indulgence, yet with
sympathy and humor, about life in the coastal town Essaouira,
where locals and tourists mingle, mutually exposing their hypocrisies.
A gritty, powerful novel by one of Morocco’s greatest writers."—Laila Lalami, author of The Moor’s Account
"A key novel by one of Morocco’s most important Arabic novelists.
. . . Represents the neglected Arabic perspective on the characters
Beat generation writers such as Kerouac, Ginsberg, and
Burroughs encountered during their stay in Morocco."—Jonathan Smolin, associate professor of Arabic, Dartmouth College
"A welcome addition to the canon of works of Moroccan literature
in translation."—William Hutchins, translator of Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy
Muhammad Zafzaf (1945–2001) was one of the most prominent writers of the Maghreb. The
author of dozens of novels and short stories, Zafzaf was celebrated for his innovative, modernist,
and aesthetic literature rooted in the detailed daily anxieties of the ordinary Moroccan.
Mbarek Sryfi is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. His translations have appeared in
CELAAN, Metamorphoses, World Literature Today, and Banipal.
Roger Allen is the Sascha Jane Patterson Harvie Professor Emeritus of Social Thought and
Comparative Ethics, School of Arts and Sciences, and professor emeritus of Arabic and comparative
literature at the University of Pennsylvania.
Book Description »[Close »]
Considered one of Morocco’s most important contemporary writers, Muhammad
Zafzaf created stories of alterity, compassionate tales inhabited by prostitutes,
thieves, and addicts living in the margins of society. In The Elusive Fox,
Zafzaf’s first novel to be translated into English, a young teacher visits the
coastal city of Essaouira in the 1960s. There he meets a group of European
bohemians and local Moroccans and is exposed to the grittier side of society.
More than a novel, The Elusive Fox is a portrait of a city during a time of fluid
cultural and political mores in Morocco.
View other series books on Middle East Literature in Translation.
5 x 7, 120 pages