Casa África Reading Club with the work “Madre de leche y miel / Mother of Milk and Honey”, by the writer Najat El Hachmi

4 April 2019 at Casa África
Conferencia de Ben Okri. Mirar con ojos de fascinación. El 20 de mayo de 2019 en el CCCB (Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona)

Casa África is holding a new meeting of its Reading Club to discuss the work "Mother of milk and honey", by the Moroccan writer Najat El Hachmi.

As always, the meeting will be chaired by Ángeles Jurado who is a journalist, writer, Africanist, inveterate reader and member of the Casa África team.

Mother of milk and honey narrates, in the first person, the story of Fátima, a Muslim woman from the Rif, who as an adult, married and a mother, leaves behind her family and the village where she has always lived, and emigrates with her daughter to Catalonia, where she struggles to make a better life. The story describes the difficulties faced by this immigrant, as well as the mismatch between what she has experienced so far, and what she believed in, and this new world. It also narrates her struggle to move forward and give her daughter a future.
Written as an oral story in which Fatima returns to visit the family home after many years and tells her seven sisters everything she has experienced,
Mother of Milk and Honey offers us a profound and convincing insight into the experience of immigration from the point of view of a Muslim woman, a mother, who lives alone without the support of her husband. At the same time, it offers us a detailed picture of what it means to be a woman in today’s rural Muslim world.

Najat El Hachmi was born in Morocco, when her father had already emigrated to Catalonia, and at the age of eight she moved to Vic. She has a degree in Arabic Philology from the University of Barcelona. Najat has been writing since she was eleven years old. She began writing for pleasure, but it gradually became a way of channelling her uneasy feeling of being from two places at the same time and helped her to bring her two worlds closer together. In 2004 she published the book Yo también soy catalana / I too am Catalan. She also collaborates as a radio talk show host and publishes articles in the press. El último patriarca / The last patriarch received the 2008 Ramon Llull Prize, the 2009 Prix Ulysse for a first novel and was a finalist in the 2009 Prix Méditerranée Étranger. It has been translated into numerous languages including English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, Romanian and Arabic.

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