Blood Feast: The Complete Short Stories of Malika Moustadraf (Paperback)
Malika Moustadraf (1969-2006) is a cult feminist icon in contemporary Moroccan literature, celebrated for her uncompromising, troubling depiction of life on the margins, as well as her stark interrogation of gender and sexuality in North Africa.
Blood Feast is the complete collection of Moustadraf's short fiction: haunting, visceral stories by a master of the genre. A woman is groped during her suffocating commute; a teenage girl suffers through a dystopian rite of passage; two mothers scheme about how to ensure their daughters pass a virginity test. And the collection's titular story paints a grim picture of dialysis patients in Casablanca--Moustadraf ultimately died of kidney disease at age thirty-seven, denied access to basic healthcare that could have saved her life.
Through brilliantly executed twists and rich slang, she takes an unflinching look at the female body, abuse and harassment, and double standards around desire. Blood Feast is a sharp provocation to patriarchal power, and a celebration of the life and genius of one of Morocco's preeminent writers.
About the Author
Malika Moustadraf (1969-2006) was a preeminent arabophone writer from Casablanca, Morocco. She died at just thirty-seven, leaving behind a semiautobiographical novel and a collection of short stories. Four other short stories were published posthumously by the Moroccan literary journal QS, and are included in this collection. Particularly celebrated by other writers for her distinctive style and experimental language, Moustadraf was equally admired for her unflinching work about life in the margins, and her centering of the female body and experience. But she was also persecuted throughout her short life for this taboo-busting subject matter and these feminist instincts. Moustadraf suffered from chronic kidney failure, preventing her from attending higher education; an intense engagement with the written word and experimentation with hybrid language became her equivalent of an academic discipline. Moustadraf was an exacting social critic, and her friends recall her fierce intellect, her humour, and her feminist rage. There are a number of press articles she wrote as well as published interviews and letters that illustrate these qualities well. Alice Guthrie is an independent queer translator, editor, and curator specializing in contemporary Arabic writing. Widely published since 2008, her work has often focused on subaltern voices and activist art. She is currently compiling the first ever anthology of LGBTQIA+ Arabic writing, set to appear in parallel Arabic and English editions. She lives in Bristol.