Ben Jelloun in Review

Over at the San Francisco Chronicle, John Freeman reviews Tahar Ben Jelloun’s The Last Friend. ” Readers who come to this novel under the impression that stories from the Muslim world will be prudish or full of allusion are in for a surprise,” Freeman warns. “This is a sexy, racy novel, energized — for a long stretch — by its two protagonists’ frantic search for a girl who doesn’t prefer sodomy to vaginal intercourse. None of their prospects wants to break her hymen.” And in this, the characters of Ali and Mamed are no different than many of the boys in my high school. I could tell you stories that would make you question what you think you know about sexuality in Morocco.

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