La Prisonniere

by Malika Oufkir, Michele Fitoussi

Transworld | November 7, 2000 | Trade Paperback

La Prisonniere is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 10.
Malika Oufkir was born into a proud Berber family in 1953, the eldest daughter of the King of Morocco''s closest aide. She was adopted by the king to be a companion to his little daughter, and at the royal court of Rabat, Malika grew up locked away in a golden cage, among the royal wives and concubines.


But when Malika was eighteen, in 1972, her father was arrested after an attempt to assassinate the king. General Oufkir was swiftly and summarily executed. Malika, her beautiful mother and her five younger brothers and sisters were seized and thrown into an isolated desert jail. For fifteen years, they had no contact with the outside world, and lived in increasingly barbaric and inhumane conditions.

Like a modern Scheherazade, Malika kept up the spirits of her younger siblings by telling them stories every night about an epic world of her own invention. Then, after fifteen endless years of imprisonment, the Oufkir children managed to dig a tunnel with their bare hands, and made an audacious escape. Although they were recaptured after five days, the ensuing public outrage resulted in house arrest rather than a return to prison. In 1996, Malika was finally permitted to leave Morocco to begin a new life in exile.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages

Published: November 7, 2000

Publisher: Transworld

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385601638

ISBN - 13: 9780385601634

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated out of 5 by from Moving Story In reading this I felt for Malika and her family. When the story ended I was left wanting to know more about how their lives were after they were released and tried to integrate back into society.
Date published: 2010-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So happy I picked this up I am not usually one to read non-fiction, but I chanced this book after seeing the Oprah's Book Club stamp (though I usually don't put a whole lot of faith in that) and reading the teaser on the back. What an unbelievable book - I'm so glad I picked it up. Actually, once I started, I couldn't put it down from the first page onwards. It's hard to imagine what Malika and her family suffered for so long. I often found myself looking at the dates and saying, wow, I was doing this when they were still in that place. Completely incredible. If you're unsure about picking up this book, don't hesitate, you won't be sorry.
Date published: 2009-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Utterly Astounding My first thoughts upon completing this novel was that it is truly inconceivable how something so horrible could happen in today's day and age. Malika Oufkir recounts the horrors of what her family went through while speaking so proudly and fondly of her ethnic background. For a woman who has been a prisoner for the majority of her life, it is truly incredible how far she has come. She is a proud and extremely strong woman who has surpassed the horrors of prison, abuse, starvation and abandonment. It is unbelievable how one person's determination to survive led to her family's escape after over 17 years in prison. The author, Michelle Fitousee, does an extraordinary job of detailing the events of this tormented family who survived the terrors of prison through their humour, courage, and extreme will to live. This story is truly breathtaking and will make any reading appreciate freedom and the everyday moments which we take for granted.
Date published: 2006-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome I love the story, which is based on a true story, it come under a new name, stolen lives . it's nothing what i have ever read before, and couldn't put it down. i too honestly would love to meet the author. Best of luck for her future. samiun
Date published: 2005-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! I love this book.. Shows how sheer determination over situation prevails..how the love they each had for each other pulled them through their experience! Simply amazing!
Date published: 2005-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Journey! This book is incredible. As a society I finally had a chance to see how spoiled we are, pampered if you will, in comparison to the rest of the world. While I realize that so many of us are truly good, this shows the power that bad has over us. It made me rethink my youth, what was so bad about having a zit or a bad grade in science class, someone out there was really suffering. And she made it through because of her family and for her family. Although parts of this book leave me with questions, I know those parts were left out to preserve dignity. I respect this book, this life. I think everyone should learn something from it.
Date published: 2003-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Finally.... Finally...a book that shows the intensity of a family's life in countries like the one in the story... this is an intensive book that shows how cruel people can be in some countries...read it ... you will find yourself crying and weeping with joy... read this book trust me...at Chapters they have a very good price on it!
Date published: 2002-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!! This is honestly, the best book i have ever read! I can't believe everything she had to go through... She is an amazing person, i wish i could meet her one day... Everyone should read this book, it's hard to believe that it's not fiction!!!
Date published: 2002-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from excellent book I think this book is very inspirational for people that are going through things like Malika, and having to be strong for herbrothers and sisters.
Date published: 2002-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Amazing True Story This book had me hooked from the beginning. Knowing that it's a real story made it even more gripping. How inspiring to read a story where the will to live can conquer terrifying abuses of power!
Date published: 2002-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from La Prisonniere Excellent story. So riveting and so unbelievable, you have to keep reminding yourself that it's true- it really happened!! A truly amazing story about the human will to survive under extreme torture.
Date published: 2001-09-21

– More About This Product –

La Prisonniere

by Malika Oufkir, Michele Fitoussi

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages

Published: November 7, 2000

Publisher: Transworld

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385601638

ISBN - 13: 9780385601634

Read from the Book

1. MY BELOVED MOTHER From the living room come the strains of mambo and cha-cha music, the percussion and guitars punctuated by the arrival of the guests. Laughter and conversation fill the rooms, wafting up to the bedroom where I am finding it hard to get to sleep. Invisible in the doorway, my thumb jammed into my mouth, I stand gazing at the women in their evening dresses made by the great couturiers, vying with each other in beauty and elegance. I admire their lacquered chignons, sparkling jewels and sophisticated make-up. They look like the princesses from my favourite fairy stories that I so want to be like when I grow up. Which I am longing to do... Suddenly she appears, the most beautiful of all in my eyes, wearing a white, low-cut dress that emphasizes the curve of her neck. My heart thumping, I watch her greeting the guests and smiling, kissing her friends, bowing her graceful neck before strangers in dinner jackets. Soon she will dance, sing, clap her hands and party till dawn, as she always does when my parents give a party at home. She will forget me for a few hours, while I fight against sleep in my little bed, thinking constantly of her, the sheen of her skin, her soft hair where I love to bury my face, her perfume, her warmth. Mummy. My beloved mother from whom, in my childhood paradise, I cannot imagine ever being separated. There is a bond between my mother and me that comes from a shared destiny made up of abandonment and loneliness. Her own mother died in c
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From the Publisher

Malika Oufkir was born into a proud Berber family in 1953, the eldest daughter of the King of Morocco''s closest aide. She was adopted by the king to be a companion to his little daughter, and at the royal court of Rabat, Malika grew up locked away in a golden cage, among the royal wives and concubines.


But when Malika was eighteen, in 1972, her father was arrested after an attempt to assassinate the king. General Oufkir was swiftly and summarily executed. Malika, her beautiful mother and her five younger brothers and sisters were seized and thrown into an isolated desert jail. For fifteen years, they had no contact with the outside world, and lived in increasingly barbaric and inhumane conditions.

Like a modern Scheherazade, Malika kept up the spirits of her younger siblings by telling them stories every night about an epic world of her own invention. Then, after fifteen endless years of imprisonment, the Oufkir children managed to dig a tunnel with their bare hands, and made an audacious escape. Although they were recaptured after five days, the ensuing public outrage resulted in house arrest rather than a return to prison. In 1996, Malika was finally permitted to leave Morocco to begin a new life in exile.

About the Author

Now 46 years old, Malika Oukfir lives in Paris with her French architect husband. Michele Fitoussi, a Tunisian by descent, is the author of several novels as well as the literary editor of Elle.


From Our Editors

As the daughter of the King of Morocco’s closest aide, she grew up enjoying all of the privileges of royalty. But this quickly changed for Malika Oukfir when her father attempted to assassinate the king. As a result, Oukfir, her mother and five brothers and sisters must live in a desert jail for 15 years. With no contact with the outside world and living in inhumane conditions, Oukfir somehow manages to keep her sanity and sense of humour intact. La Prisonniere is her remarkable story.

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