"Do you remember the poor man wearing a djellaba who would beg for money next to the school?"
"The one on the corner."
"Two corners and the school in the middle, the black metal door."
"I remember that you would run to give him a coin before they closed the door, always arriving to class last."
"I wanted to sleep a little more, you were always in my dreams."
"He would dance."
"Do you remember the rulers they used to hit our hands?"
"And they would say 'met la main' ('put out your hand'), but then your hand would automatically move back when the ruler came close."
"And once again, 'met la main', as if it were normal for a child to like being hit."
"And we still have good memories from that school."
"Who are we?"
"We are the people from the memory."
"The past is that story that never stops changing."
Mois Benarroch is one of the most enigmatic figures in today's world literature. Born in Morocco, his writings are rooted in the country's landscapes and history; as a Sephardi Jew he travels the world of Jewish literature; and as in Israeli living in Jerusalem he incorporates the day to day life and politics of his country. A prolific novelist and poet who writes in three languages he never sets for one secure path and is always exploring new ways to make his literature a fresh one with a long time vision.
His poetry is one of compassion, social-political fight, and human. Multicultural by force, where others take multiculturalism as an idea, his life is forced to live within cultures. His novels take us from literary travel, to science-fiction, time travel back and forth, and a view that encompasses the past and the future, the relationships between Jews and Muslims, the life within cultures and the tragic fate of Christian-Jewish relations, always living a place for hope a belief in better days to come.
Known mainly as a poet in the English language world, thanks to a massive support from independent writers many of his novels are seeing light in English. Gates to Tangier, The Cathedral, Muriel, the Nobel Prize, Lucena, Raque Says (Something Entirely Unexpected), have been published in 2015 and many more are on their way in the next year.
A best-selling novelist in Spain, an award winning poet in Israel, and often featured in the bestselling list of poetry books sold in amazon, now is the time to discover this old new writer with more than 30 books to his name.
Mois Benarroch was born in 1959, and has been awarded with the prestigious Amichay poetry prize in 2012.