About the Book
“Of Dreams and Stale Bread” is an autobiographical account of a young boy growing up in North Africa in the 1960s. What begins as a serene and happy life in a well-to-do farming family in the country becomes a gripping tale of hardship and struggle in the city. The story recounts in painstaking details eight years of a life of hunger, cold, and despair. It relates the boy’s daunting task of having to learn a new language, and depicts the austerity of the learning environment where merciless corporal punishment was inflicted on him by his often violent teacher. At home, living conditions were just as dire; food was scarce and often consisted of a small piece of stale bread a day.
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Kassem Bahaji was born in Morocco. He, now lives in the United States and writes in French. "Of Dreams and Stale Bread" is the translation of his first novel "De Rêves et de pain rassis," which was published by Edilivre in Paris, France in 2014.