Isle of Males

Isle of Males
(working title)
جزیرة الذكور
(jazirat al dhukur)

Written by

(عزيز بنحدوش)

Published by


Can philosophical enquiry bring us home to our Mother Earth?

A contemporary Moroccan classic eco-feminist novel of estrangement by the Amazighi scholar, public intellectual, activist, poet and teacher Aziz Benhaddouch (1967-2016). This is an examination of the performance of masculinity in a society defined by the absence of visible women, of Sufism as a way to locate feminism within patriarchal structures, of the heart’s relationship to the living land, of the practical mechanics of consciousness-raising, and of the poetics of linguistic dislocation within a polyglossic state. Sent to a remote area to teach in high school, protagonist Idriss’s question is how to develop didactic strategies to change the world — a question at the heart of Benhaddouch’s own life’s work. Deeply grounded in the earth and the land, and shot through with inside observations on migration from the Global South to the Global North, this elegant novel juxtaposes nature with corrupt human structures to great effect.

Approximate number of pages: 146 p.

Foreign rights: contact translator


Translation samples

Reasons to publish this book

This is a key example of in-your-face feminist writing by a male (Muslim, North African) author — an overlooked category in the binary anglophone literary world. Hugely celebrated in Moroccan intellectual circles, this novel is as yet untranslated into any other language. The interplay of Arab-Amazigh (and urban-rural) modes in the book is exquisitely rendered, and despite the theoretically didactic concept of the novel, it has a dreamy playful vibe in keeping with the mysticism of the Sufi theme.

Reviewed by Alice Guthrie