Drawing on stories he heard as a boy from female relatives, Jilali El Koudia presents a cross section of utterly bewitching narratives. Filled with ghouls and fools, kind magic and wicked, eternal bonds and earthly wishes, these are mesmerizing stories to be savored, studied, or simply treasured. Varied genres include anecdotes, legends, and animal fables, and some tales bear strong resemblance to European counterparts, for example Aamar and his Sister (Hansel and Gretel) and Nunja and the White Dove (Cinderella). All capture the heart of Morroco and the soul of its people.
In an enlightening introduction, El Koudia mourns the loss of the teller of tales in the marketplace, and he makes it clear that storytelling, born of memory and oral tradition, could vanish in the face of mass and electronic media.