R.I.P: Driss Chraïbi

I was in Marrakech for the weekend, so I did not hear the terrible news of Driss Chraïbi’s passing until yesterday. Although Chraïbi is probably not as known in the West as Tahar Ben Jelloun, he certainly remains one of Morocco’s best writers. In Le Passé Simple, he wrote of the clash between the old generation and the new, during the years of French occupation. In Les Boucs, he portrayed the hardships of Moroccan immigrants in France. In La Civilisation, Ma Mère, he drew a loving portrait of a Moroccan housewife who emancipates herself. For La Mère du Printemps, he drew a historical portrait of the (fictional) Aït Yafelman tribe. In short, he wrote about all the things that mattered to his countrymen. He was widely read, always interesting, and enormously influential (I am thinking, in particular, of Fouad Laroui). A part of me feels that, with his passing, a whole era of Moroccan literature is also dead.

Related: Driss Chraïbi Turns 80.