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Like a Summer Never to Be Repeated is a fascinating and highly experimental story based loosely around the author's own experiences in Egypt as a Moroccan student and visiting intellectual. In Cairo the narrator, Hammad, takes us on a deeply personal journey of discovery from the heady days of the 1950s and 1960s, with all the optimism and excitement surrounding Moroccan independence, Suez, and Abdel Nasser, up to the 1990s and the time of writing, revealing an individual intensely concerned with Arab life and culture. Meanwhile, his regular visits to Cairo allow us to watch a culture in transition over four decades. Exploring themes of change, the role of culture in society, memory, and writing, in a text that combines narrative fiction with literary criticism, philosophical musings, and quotation, Like a Summer Never to Be Repeated is among the most innovative works of modern Arabic literature and a testimony to Mohammed Berrada's position as a leading pioneer.
Mohammed Berrada, born in Rabat in 1938, is one of Morocco's leading writers. He is the author of short stories, novels, and works of literary criticism.
Christina Phillips has a PhD in modern Arabic literature. She lives in London and is currently pursuing postdoctoral research in modern Arabic narrative and poetry. She is the translator of Naguib Mahfouz's Morning and Evening Talk (AUC Press, 2007).