For Bread Alone
Choukri's classic and moving work, which has already been translated into more than ten languages, speaks for an entire generation of North Africans. Born in the Rif, Choukri moved with his family to Tangier at a time of great famine. His childhood was spent in abject poverty; eight of his brothers and sisters died of malnutrition or neglect. During his adolescence, described here with its attendant erotic escapades, Choukri worked for a time as servant to a French family. He then returned to Tangier, where he experienced the violence of the 1952 independence riots. At the age of 20, and still illiterate, he took the decision to learn to read and write classical Arabic - a decision, which transformed his life. After mastering the language, he became a teacher and writer, finally being awarded the chair of Arabic Literature at Ibn Batuta College in Tangier.
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This autobiography tells of Mohamed Choukri's younger years after he looses his family to abuse, neglect, and starvation. Choukri tells of his exposure to drugs, sex, begging, and petty theft. This story leads into Choukri's next story, "Streetwise."