Book Launch: “Through the Peacock Gate” by Sandy McCutcheon

Book Launch: “Through the Peacock Gate” by Sandy McCutcheon
Monday, April 16th at 6 PM
ALIF Riad, 6 Derb Drissi, Batha

The launch will be conducted by Australian satirist and artist, Bryan Dawe.

This is a chance to purchase a signed, first edition of the novel.

“Through the Peacock Gate” takes you on the journey of a foreigner in Morocco, whose unexpected infatuation leads him into the very heart of the Sufi mystical experience. His descent into madness is exacerbated by his guilt over a tragedy in his past. As he recovers, he is forced to confront a female djinn during a Sufi ceremony in an encounter that could once again tip him back into insanity.

The novel is a rare example of contemporary English fiction drawing on traditional Moroccan folklore. Written in gripping English prose fused with Arabic words, the novel gives an authentic insight into a Westerner’s experience of modern Moroccan society, whilst simultaneously exposing the reader to the country’s rich cultural history by weaving classic Moroccan folk takes and the mysteries of Sufism into its fabric. The book not only explores the point where East and West merge, but the collision of the human world with the world of the djinns – mysterious shape-shifting creatures of an unseen realm.

“Sandy McCutcheon’s latest novel Through the Peacock Gate is the kind of book those of us who live between Occident and Orient have waited an entire lifetime to read. The interweaving layers, the quality of the prose and, most of all, the raw bedrock of cultural knowledge on which it is founded, makes this an invaluable handbook to the mysteries and complexities of Eastern lore. Its pages conjure the mesmerising, magical heart of secret Morocco.” – Tahir Shah, author of The Caliph’s House

About the author: SANDY MCCUTCHEON is an New Zealand born author, playwright, actor, broadcaster and journalist. He has written twenty plays and a number of novels, including Black Widow (2006), which won the Christina Stead Award for Literature. He currently resides in Morocco where he has close ties with a Sufi brotherhood, and has a large online following on his website ‘The View from Fez’ which he runs with his wife, the photographer Suzanna Clark.

ALC Fes Book Club: “Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China” by Jung Chang.

ALC Fes Book Club: “Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China” by Jung Chang.
Thursday, November 30 at 3 PM in Room 1

This week we are traveling to China with the book “Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China” by Jung Chang. Translated into 37 languages, the book has sold 13 million copies worldwide, more than any other nonfiction book in history. It is banned in China because the book tells the story of three womens’ struggles under the regime of Mao Tse Tung.

ALC Book Club: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

ALC Book Club: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Friday, November 24 in Room 1
“Jane Eyre”, written by Charlotte Brontë, will be the focus of this week’s Book Club. There are so many themes in this timeless classic: society and class, education, morality, the supernatural and the meaning of home. It will be a great discussion on these topics and more. Everyone is welcome to join us.

ALC-ALIF Book Club: “Black Boy”

ALC-ALIF Book Club: “Black Boy”
Friday, Nov.10 at 3 PM in Room 1

For this week’s Book Club discussion, we will be reading Richard Wright’s book, “Black Boy.” The author tells how his life began with struggles due to hunger and poverty, and then he experienced unfair treatment due to the color of his skin. Rather than discourage him, his problems led him to believe that all people should treated equally, regardless of race. Join us for another great discussion! Everyone is welcome.

ALC-ALIF Book Club: “Exit West”

ALC-ALIF Book Club: “Exit West”
Friday, Nov. 3 at 3 PM in Room 1
Mohsin Hamid’s latest book, “Exit West”, which the Guardian calls a ‘magical vision of the refugee crisis’, made the shortlist for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. As our book for this week’s Book Club, it centers on a very contemporary romance, situated in the dangerous context of the westward stream of refugees, as the title indicates. Join us for another fascinating discussion.

ALC-ALIF Book Club: “The Handmaid’s Tale”

ALC-ALIF Book Club: “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Friday, Oct. 27 at 2 PM in Room 1

Are you a fan of the TV series, “The Handmaid’s Tale”? Whether you’ve seen it or not, join this week’s ALC-ALIF Book Club, as we read the book that the series is based on, written by Margaret Atwood. Through the discussion, we will explore themes of women in subjugation to misogyny in a patriarchal society and the various means by which women can gain individualism and independence. It will be an exciting conversation and everyone is welcome to join us.

ALC-ALIF Book Club: Honour

ALC-ALIF Book Club: Honour by Elif Shafak
Friday, October 20 at 4 PM in Room 1

 

This week’s Book Club discussion will be about the book, “Honour,” by Elif Shafak. The novel addresses the issue of honor killings of women in Turkish culture. According to the Guardian, “The author is an extremely popular novelist in Turkey, particularly loved by young, educated and newly independent women who appreciate her fusion of feminism and Sufism, her disarmingly quirky characters and the artful twists and turns of her epic romances.”

ALC ALIF Book Club: Don Quixote

ALC-ALIF Book Club: Saturday, July 15 at 1 PM in Room 1

In our upcoming Book Club gathering, we will read the first modern novel of the Western world: Miguel de Cervantes’s book, Don Quixote. The full (and comical) title of this much-loved book is, “The Ingenious Low-Born Noble Don Quixote of La Mancha”, and the Guardian claims that “Cervantes’s magnificent knight’s quest has cosmological scope and reverberation”. Join us as we tilt at windmills with one of the world’s greatest fictional characters and his sidekick, Sancho, to see what has made the book so legendary and influential. The drawing shown here is by Pablo Picasso.

Here is a link to download the book:
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/996

ALC ALIF Book Club: Bottom of the Jar

ALC-ALIF Book Club: Saturday, July 8 at 1 PM in Room 1

For this week’s Book Club, we will be reading “The Bottom of the Jar” by Abdellatif Laâbi, a Moroccan poet and novelist. The novel is based on memories from when Laâbi was “finding his footing in the heart of Fez during the 1950s, as Morocco began freeing itself from the grip of the French colonial occupation. The narrator vividly recalls his first encounters with the ebullient city, family dramas, and the joys and turbulence of his childhood.” Join us for an intimate look at our own city of Fes through this award-winning writer’s eyes.