Larbi Layachi is the pseudonym chosen by Driss ben Hamed Charhadi, an illiterate storyteller working as a house servant in Tangier, Morocco. He dictated his novels, the first to be composed in the Arabic dialect Moghrebi, to the American author and translator Paul Bowles. Charhadi’s novels are at once straightforward and a rich, complex look into a culture rarely seen from his uniquely leveling perspective.
From “The Wedding”:
I sat down and drank my tea. There was a group of musicians there playing music, drinking tea and smoking kif. The room was crowded and smoky and very noisy. More people came in and there was not enough room inside. The father of the bride decided to make room outside for all the guests to sit down. He went to his neighbor and borrowed all the cushions they had and some mats and rugs to put on the floor. They made enough space for everyone who came. The musicians decided it was too hot inside, and they wanted to sit outside. It was summer and the moon was full. I felt better myself when I went out and sat down and breathed some fresh air.