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The House on Butterfly Street

A Novel

Published by Interlink Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

In a country where the precarious rights of women and children can be reversed in an instant, legacies of enslavement and quiet resistance still reverberate across time.

Present-day Casablanca, Morocco: Nadine Alam, a physician by training and housewife by choice, has reached her hour of reckoning. Her marriage has broken down, her teenage daughter Al has retreated into silence, and now her young housekeeper Ghalia has disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

One morning, Nadine receives an envelope from an unidentified sender. Inside it is a newspaper clipping, an article about a single mother and her newborn child, a boy named Noor—typically a name given to girls, meaning light. Nadine’s country is one where single mothers and children born out of wedlock are considered pariahs, outside the protection of the law. Why would a journalist disclose the child’s name? And why was she sent this clipping? Nadine embarks on a search that takes her into a Casablanca she barely knew existed, into her own family’s history and her country’s past, in which her family is entwined.

A vivid, kaleidoscopic portrait of a Casablanca household.

About The Author

Moroccan novelist Mhani Alaoui’s work embraces both her roots and global themes.She lived and studied in the US for twelve years before returning to Casablanca. An anthropologist by training, her multilayered writing vividly depicts lives from her Arab North African cradle, giving voice to intergenerational aspirations, trials, and legacies,particularly of her women characters. While her storytelling powerfully uncovers history’s scars, her compassionate insight invites readers to imagine, yearn for, and seek a more just and kinder world. In addition to The House on Butterfly Street, her previous works include Dreams of Maryam Tair and Aya Dane.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Interlink Books (October 24, 2023)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781623717278

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Raves and Reviews

Alaoui delves deeply into the inner lives of her diverse cast of characters, presenting their stories and experiences in vivid and descriptive language. Individual chapters explore the characters’ pasts … and how Morocco’s history feeds into the situations faced by the women in the story. This reflective, social-issue-focused character study will appeal to readers of Laila Lalami.

– Booklist

Gripping, vivid, and extremely engaging. Mhani Alaoui is a gifted novelist who writes with honesty, simplicity, and grace.

– Mustapha Fahmi

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