A Year in Marrakesh by Peter Mayne
Having learned to appreciate Muslim life while living in Pakistan, Peter Mayne settled down to live in the back streets of Marrakesh in the 1950s. Rather than watch from the shelter of a hotel terrace, he rented rooms, learned the language, made friends, and became embroiled in conspiratorial picnics, hashish-laced dinners and in the enchantments and misunderstandings of the street, with its festivals, love affairs, potions and gossip.
By turns used, abused and cherished by his neighbours, Mayne wrote their letters for them and captured the essence of their lives in this affectionate and hilarious account.
"A notable book, for the author is exceptional both in his literary talent and his outlook. His easy economical style seizes, with no sense of effort, the essence of people, situations and places. Mr. Mayne is that rare thing, a natural writer…no less exceptional is his humour. Few Westerners have written about Islam with so little nonsense and such understanding."
Times Literary Supplement
"I know of no other book that paints such an endearing portrait of life among Muslims. The author’s warmth and humanity illuminate every page, and to keep the ball rolling, it is deliciously witty. A classic."
"Mr. Mayne’s book gives us the ‘strange elation’ that good writing always creates. It is a good book, an interesting book, and one that I warmly recommend."
Harold Nicolson, Observer
"He has woven a texture of extraordinary charm."