La Prisonniere

by Malika Oufkir

Transworld | May 17, 2001 | Mass Market Paperbound

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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.

La Prisonnière is a heart-rending account of resilience in the face of extreme deprivation, of the courage and even humour with which one family faced their tormented fate. A shocking true story, it is hard to comprehend that it could have happened in our own times.

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 400 Pages, 3.94 × 6.69 × 0.79 in

Published: May 17, 2001

Publisher: Transworld

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553813021

ISBN - 13: 9780553813029

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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– More About This Product –

La Prisonniere

La Prisonniere

by Malika Oufkir

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 400 Pages, 3.94 × 6.69 × 0.79 in

Published: May 17, 2001

Publisher: Transworld

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553813021

ISBN - 13: 9780553813029

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.

La Prisonnière is a heart-rending account of resilience in the face of extreme deprivation, of the courage and even humour with which one family faced their tormented fate. A shocking true story, it is hard to comprehend that it could have happened in our own times.

About the Author

Malika Oufkir lives in Paris with her French architect husband. Michèle Fitoussi is of Tunisian descent, and is the author of several novels as well as the literary editor of French 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 Oufkir when her father attempted to assassinate the king. As a result, Oufkir, 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, Oufkir somehow manages to keep her sanity and sense of humour intact. La Prisonniere is her remarkable story.

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