Set in Salé, Morocco—the hometown Abdellah Taïa fled but to which he returns again and again in his acclaimed fiction and films—Infidels follows the life of Jallal, the son of a prostitute witch doctor—"a woman who knew men, humanity, better than anyone. In sex. Beyond sex." As a ten-year-old sidekick to his mother, Jallal spits in the face of her enemies both real and imagined.
The cast of characters that rush into their lives are unforgettable for their dreams of love and belonging that unravel in turn. Built as a series of monologues that are emotionally relentless—a mix of confession, heart's murmuring, and shouting match—the book follows Jallal out of boyhood on the path to Jihad. It's a path that surprises even him.
ABDELLAH TAÏA was born in 1973 in the public library of Rabat, Morocco, where his family lived until he was two years old. Acclaimed as both a novelist and filmmaker, he writes in French and has published eight books, including Le jour de roi, which was awarded the prestigious French Prix de Flore in 2010. An adaptation of his novel L’Armée du salut was his first feature film, released in 2014, screened at major festivals around the world, and hailed by the New York Times as giving “the Arab world its first on-screen gay protagonist.” Taïa made history in 2006 by coming out in Morocco, where homosexuality is illegal. His commitment to the defense of homosexuals in Muslim countries has made him one of the most prominent Arab writers of his generation–both “a literary transgressor and cultural paragon,” according to Interview magazine. He now lives in Paris.
STEVEN REIGNS is a Los Angeles-based poet, educator, and was appointed the first City Poet Laureate of West Hollywood (2014–2016). Alongside over a dozen chapbooks, he has published the collections Inheritance and Your Dead Body is My Welcome Mat. He holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of South Florida, a Master of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, and is a ten-time recipient of City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs’ Artist in Residency Grant. He edited My Life is Poetry, featuring his students in the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBT seniors, and has taught writing workshops around the country to LGBT youth and people living with HIV. Currently he is touring The Gay Rub, an exhibition of rubbings from LGBT landmarks
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