The Last Patriarch by Najat El Hachmi

The Last Patriarch

Najat El Hachmi

Everything clashes in this novel - a father and his daughter, the two cultures of Morocco and Catalonia, as well as the pressures of familial duty against personal desire. It's a tale of abuse, growing up, and the difficulties of migration. Serious topics, but the light tone makes this potentially distressing story palatable.

Extract

Mimoun had almost finished, and he'd shut one eye to look at the row he'd just laid to check it was straight, when his uncle said, so, your wife's missing you, is she? Nothing would have gone awry if his uncle hadn't carried on and specified what exactly she might be missing. You know what I mean, when women are virgins they don't need it, but if yours has got used to .... He didn't have time to finish his sentence. Mimoun struck him with the handle of the trowel he was holding and the cement must have stuck in his uncle's hair. My wife's not a whore like yours, right? Don't ever talk to me like that again, he probably said as he went on kicking him. I'm not a poof like you, he must have said, his round eyes bulging and his brows knitting as they tended to when things didn't turn out as he'd like.

Parallels
  • The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi
  • Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour

Books with similar mood

Black Wave

Michelle Tea

Everything You Ever Wanted

Rosalind Wyllie

Yellow Dog

Martin Amis

The Most Intimate Place

Rosemary Furber

An Experiment in Compassion

Des Dillon

Ablutions

Patrick deWitt

Nail and Other Stories

Laura Hird

In Our Mad and Furious City

Guy Gunaratne

The Death of Bees

Lisa O'Donnell

Three Sisters

Bi Feiyu

The Crash of Hennington

Patrick Ness

Morvern Callar

Alan Warner

How Are You Going to Save Yourself

J M Holmes

The Glorious Heresies

Lisa McInerney

The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Peron

Carlos Gamerro

Bangkok 8

John Burdett

The Hoarder

Jess Kidd

How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position

Tabish Khair

Mathilda Savitch

Victor Lodato

I, Lucifer

Glen Duncan

The Dog Catcher

Alexei Sayle

All Hail the New Puritans

Nicholas Blincoe and Matt Thorne

Dead Famous

Ben Elton

The Idea of Love

Louise Dean

The First Bad Man

Miranda July

The Long Song

Andrea Levy

The Exchange-Rate Between Love and Money

Thomas Leveritt

Refusal Shoes

Tony Saint

The Noise of Time

Julian Barnes

Micka

Frances Kay

The Insatiable Spider Man

Pedro Gutierrez

Like Plastic

David Flusfeder

Milkman

Anna Burns

Norwegian By Night

Derek B Miller

The Panopticon

Jenni Fagan

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

Mohsin Hamid

Ashes

Sergios Gakas

Star of the Sea

Joseph O'Connor

Weight Loss

Upamanyu Chatterjee

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Patrick Ness

Malarky

Anakana Schofield

A Woman of Africa

Nick Roddy

The Ground is Burning

Samuel Black

No One Belongs Here More Than You

Miranda July

The Voyage of the Short Serpent

Bernard Du Boucheron

The Bridge of the Golden Horn

Emine Sevgi Ozdamar

The Last Days

Andrew Masterton

Pelikan

David Lozell Martin

Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys

Will Self