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“A real tale of human desperation, shattering in its impact.”—Tennessee Williams

Driven by way of famine from their domestic within the Rif, Mohamed’s kin walks to Tangiers looking for a greater existence. yet his father is not able to discover paintings and grows violent. Mohamed learns how one can appeal and scouse borrow. in the course of a brief spell in a dirty Moroccan reformatory, a fellow inmate kindles his life-altering love of poetry.

The exotic author Paul Bowles, maybe most sensible identified for his novel The Sheltering Sky, collaborated heavily with Mohamed Choukri at the translation of For Bread Alone, and penned the introduction.

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My hair is even stickier than my physique. Stickier. I went on rubbing and rinsing till my dermis was once pink, purple. the outside on my physique used to be nonetheless sticky with oil, yet now not so soiled as sooner than. within the afternoon, after wandering all over, I sat down on a few steps contrary the railway station. i didn't be able to hold any suitcases for the visitors who arrived. I failed. i didn't dare strategy them. one of many porters yelled into my face: come back! Out of right here! cross on! This used to be an exceptional city until eventually you all landed the following like a swarm of locusts! They swore at me, spat on me, and shoved me away. A muscular younger guy gave me a difficult kick and chopped me at the again of my neck. yet i used to be made up our minds to stick there. I stayed there. Later I succeeded in persuading a eu to enable me hold his suitcase. It used to be heavy. As i used to be lifting it as much as hold it, a major guy grabbed me and commenced to swear at me. He controlled to persuade the vacationer that he was once extra able to sporting the bag than i used to be. Violently he yanked the deal with out of my hand. Violently. the placement has no longer replaced in any respect to date. whilst i used to be seven or 8 years previous I regularly dreamt approximately bread. And right here i'm at 16 nonetheless dreaming approximately it. Am I going to head on dreaming approximately bread for ever? The cat at the fishermen’s pier used to be luckier than I. it may devour fish out of the gutter with out vomiting. convinced, with out vomiting. There’s not anything left yet begging or stealing. however it turns out to me beggar 16 years outdated will not acquire a lot. sure, it truly is tough. Sebtaoui was once correct: begging is a occupation for kids and outdated humans. If a tender guy can’t locate paintings, it’s extra shameful to beg than to scouse borrow. That’s what he used to assert. i'm wondering the place they're now, he and Abdeslam. Who is aware? a tender guy sat down close to me and took out a pack of black cigarettes. Do you smoke? he acknowledged. I became my head and replied weakly: definite. What’s the problem with you? Are you in poor health? No. He got here closer and that i took a cigarette from him. He lighted a fit. thanks. now not now. thank you. He received up, asserting: look ahead to me. I’ll be again. I smelled the cigarette. If I smoke it I’ll vomit back with out vomiting whatever. almost like at midday. I heard the sound of a aircraft flying overhead, and raised my eyes to the sky. The noise slowly grew fainter, and that i didn't see the aircraft. a sense of sleepiness stole over me. I heard the younger guy speaking. the following! The cigarette had fallen from my hand. i need to have slept. definite, I’ve been asleep. He was once preserving out part a loaf of bread filled with tinned sardines. I observed a bottle of wine in his hand. He took a small glass out of his pocket and stuffed it. while he had under the influence of alcohol, he refilled it. elevating the glass to his lips he stated: the place are you from? I responded as I ate. I’m from the Rif. My kin lives in Tetuan. He emptied his glass back and licked his lips contentedly. while did you come back to Tangier? the day gone by. And the place do you sleep? on the street. i used to be chuffed consuming. I swallowed a few mouthfuls with out having the ability to bite them. He stuffed the glass and passed it to me. Do you drink?

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