A Palace in the Old Village by Tahar Ben Jelloun, Translated from the French by Linda Coverdale,
Penguin Books, 2011
Paperback, 192 Pages
a Moroccan worker who has spent forty years working in a French
automobile plant, faces mandatory retirement. He decides to return with his wife to his village and build a
grand house where he can stage a family reunion.
His children are grown, they are French citizens, and
are assimilated into European culture. One son is married to a Spanish woman, a daughter is married to an Italian. The children have no desire to return to their father's homeland.
A sad story of a
family's changing values as children and parents become foreigners to
each other, this story highlights the plight of "temporary" immigrant workers. Recommended for anyone interested in finding out more about the experience of Muslims in France. Covers the time period from the mid 1960s through the first decade of the 2000s.
An interview with the author on the Penguin web site is worth reading.
Note: For the French Bingo Card: not exactly what we usually think of when we talk about the "ex-pat" life, but I think Mohammed's experiences qualify.