The castle

Soukaina Habiballah  |  The AFAC Novel Writing Program  |  2014  |  Morocco
Naima is a Moroccan woman in her thirties. She works as a teacher for the blind and visually impaired students in Paris and has always looked for a place where she can experience life the way she experiences words in the books of her students, by touching it, not merely listening about it. She faces the risk of becoming blind due to a hereditary condition, which makes her detached, rebellious and resigned at the same time. She also does not own anything and knows well the location of the tombstone that bears her full name, because she is the surrogate of another girl who was born before her and died when she was only three years old. The novel spans one day in the life of this woman when she returns from France to Morocco carrying the memoirs of a father born to an old war in a far off land. After two years in France, she returns to Casablanca, which carries the fate of many people who made Naima the woman she was, the woman she is and the woman she will become.