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The Butts [a novel]

Driss Chraibi, translated by Hugh A. Harter
ISBN: 978-089410-324-7
ISBN: 978-089410-325-4
1989/123 pages/LC: 83-70251


The dehumanization of the Arabs who emigrated to "Mother France" is the subject of Chraïbi’s second novel, echoing Simple Past. This time, however, the focus is more on the values and customs of the West, whose promises to the Islamic world appear as a facade for violence and exploitation.

The story unfolds in the mind of Yalaan Waldik, an "Arabo" who aspires to record in writing the experiences of his people in the gutters of French society. First published in French in 1955.


Born in Morocco in 1926, the late Driss Chraïbi embraced French education and culture early on and supported French colonial rule; but he soon became equally critical of the Occidental and the Islamic worlds, and his writing often focuses on the unresolved conflicts between the two. Chraïbi practiced medicine for a few years, then turned to writing in 1952. He has published more than a dozen highly acclaimed novels. The late Hugh A. Harter was president of Horizons for Learning.