The View from Fez gets a lot of enquiries about what books to read before coming to Morocco. So we have decided to make up a suggested reading list of books that we and others have found invaluable. Clicking on the links will take you to an on-line supplier. Enjoy!
Morocco (Country Guide)
Simply the best and most up to date guide book available. This is the 2009 edition by Paul Clammer.
Discover twice the city in half the time with this is essential pocket sized guide book for Fez
…full-color pull-out map to help you navigate the medina with ease
…our resident author, Helen Ranger, recommends the best sights, restaurants, shops and entertainment
…unique itineraries and highlights to make the most of a short break in the world's last intact Medina.
…local experts reveal Fez’s secrets: from Si Mohammed el-Amrani on medicinal herbs to Dr. Armand Guigui on Jewish heritage in the Mellah.
Moroccan Arabic: Lonely Planet Phrasebook
Don't leave home without it! It is very easy to use and the locals will appreciate even a few well chosen phrases.
A House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco
Suzanna Clarke's bestseller is a real insight into life in Fez - not just about restoration but wonderful and heart-warming descriptions of everyday life in the Medina. There are English, Australian, American and Korean editions.
Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua, 1893-1956
British author Gavin Maxwell (Ring of Bright Water) details the daily life, customs, and rituals in pre-independence Morocco and of recounts the rise and fall of El Hadj T'hani El Glaoui, the legendary tribal warlord through whom the French ruled one of their prize colonies in North Africa. He shows how the blend of Berber, Arab, and black African races created an extraordinary cultural mosaic and explains how the French colonialists recruited the Atlas Mountain tribal warlords to subdue the other tribes. As the chief beneficiary of this policy, El Glaoui was able to rule most of southern Morocco in an absolute fashion, until Morocco's independence from France in 1956 brought an end to the rule of a very colorful warlord. The book contains many superb color photographs that enhance Maxwell's lively narrative.
Fiction & Literature
Spider's House: A Novel
This is the classic by Paul Bowles. A must read. The dilemma of the outsider in an alien society, and the gap in understanding between cultures, recurrent themes of Paul Bowles's writings, are dramatized with brutal honesty in this novel set in Fez, Morocco, during that country's 1954 nationalist uprising. Totally relevant to today's political situation in the Middle East and elsewhere, richly descriptive of its setting, and uncompromising in its characterizations, The Spider's House is perhaps Bowles's best, most beautifully subtle novel.
The Cobbler's Apprentice
Sandy McCutcheon's explosive international thriller contains some wonderfully evocative scenes in Fez.
''The best of the current crop of terrorist thrillers ... This intelligent novel blends the machinations of the spy novel with the action and geopolitics of the international thriller to produce a credible and truly scary read ... This is McCutcheon's finest novel to date.'Jeff Popple (Canberra Times)
'This book is nothing less than a rip-roaring action thriller with politicians and thugs, scientists and spies — and an unnerving sense of the possible.' Samela Harris (Adelaide Advertiser)
'It's a gripping read because of its eerie prescience. But in McCutcheon's professional hands, it will also have you reading on the edge of your seats.' Jan Hallam (Sunday Times)
These two books by the wonderful author Laila Lalami are highly recomended!
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
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