Look again at that cover image: a milky skin background and two hands, tapestry-stitched patterns in non-matching colors, one hand splintering apart. See the gold rings on the index fingers in contrast, one band unable to hold together its shattering appendage. Tahar Ben Jelloun’s new novel The Happy Marriage tells the story of a painter who grows gradually exhausted with his wife and what he perceives to be her callous thoughtlessness. When he suffers a stroke that leaves him paralyzed, he channels more disdain into the marriage. Then, readers are introduced to the wife.
The novel is set in Casablanca, at a time when women’s rights are beginning to gain legal standing. Author Ben Jelloun has been called “arguably Morocco’s greatest living author” by The Guardian, and “a writer of social and moral acuteness” by Los Angeles Times. The novel comes out today from Melville House. The Happy Marriage can be found at a local bookshop, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon.