Dialogues: a conversation with Meryem Alaoui

Meryem Alaoui Photo
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 12:00 PM
Sponsored by the Center for African Studies
Co-sponsored by The Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, the France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

The Center for African Studies Africa Table Lecture Series presents Meryem Alaoui, in conversation with Marie-Pierre Ulloa, lecturer in French and Francophone Studies at Stanford University. Marie-Pierre Ulloa is the author of Francis Jeanson, an intellectual dissident, from the French Resistance to the Algerian War (2008) and Le Nouveau Rêve Américain: Du Maghreb à la Californie (The New American Dream, From North Africa to California, 2019).

Moroccan author Meryem Alaoui will be sharing her thoughts on writing her first novel, La Vérité sort de la bouche du cheval, (The Truth Comes out of the Horse’s Mouth, Gallimard, 2018), about the journey of a female prostitute in the popular Zevaco market of Casablanca. The novel received great critical and public acclaim, and will be published in English in 2020. It was a Prix Goncourt des Lycéens finalist and a Prix Goncourt nomineeHow are we to understand authorship when writers present themselves as objects of reception rather than subjects of production? In which ways does the rich oral civilization of North Africa shape literary genres and forms when it comes to the listening-in-writing dynamics, listening in Darija (Moroccan dialect) and writing in French? Her novel is also a homage to Casablanca, an internationally renowned city, yet unknown.