Mohammed Ben Abdallah has spent 40 years working in France, in this novel from the Moroccan author of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award nominee Leaving Tangier. As Mohammed faces mandatory retirement from his factory career, he takes stock of his life—his quiet devotion to Islam and to his assimilated children—and decides to return to Morocco, where he spends his life's savings building the biggest house in the village, and hoping for his children and grandchildren to come be with him.
"Esteemed Moroccan author [Tahar] Ben Jalloun explores Mohammed's complicated feelings of ennui and alienation from the country that has been his home for decades and from his own children, whom he neither knows nor understands. The story builds to an end that seems as inevitable as it is symbolic of Mohammed's isolation within his own family. Lovers of literary fiction should take note of this affecting novel."—Booklist