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Descripción de editorial
A “touching, furious, sharp, and very funny” novel of an immigrant teenage girl finding her own identity in France (Booklist).
The Paradise projects are only a few metro stops from Paris, but it feels like a different world. Doria’s father, aka the Beard, has headed back to their hometown in Morocco, leaving her and her mom to cope with their mektoub, their destiny, alone. They have a little help—from a social worker sent by the city, a psychiatrist sent by the school, and a thug friend who recites Rimbaud.
It seems like fate has dealt them an impossible hand, but Doria might still make a new life—“with bravado, humor, and a healthy dose of rage” (St. Petersburg Times).
“[A] sassy, spunky tale . . . Doria has what it takes to storm any barricade.” —The Hartford Courant
“[Doria is] as likable as Holden Caulfield or Prep’s Lee Fiora. Readers will cheer. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal, starred review
“A promising addition to the world’s literary voices.” —The Miami Herald
“Moving and irreverent, sad and funny, full of rage and intelligence. Her voice is fresh, and her book a delight.” —Laila Lalami, bestselling author of The Moor’s Account
College-aged Gu ne was raised by Algerian immigrant parents in a Parisian housing project; in her debut novel, a French bestseller, 15-year-old Doria and her illiterate mother, having been abandoned by Doria's alcoholic father, are stuck in a Paris housing project called the Paradise. Dependent on welfare and subjected to the obligatory succession of social workers, the two are determined to face forward, despite Doria's sense of doomed mektoub (destiny), where gradual improvement (French: kiffe kiffe) gets flattened by the same old quotidian (Arabic: kif-kif). Doria, perpetually failing at school, begins a job babysitting a neighbor's much-adored four-year-old daughter, and Doria's mother begins literacy courses. A smart older boy, Nabil, is enlisted to tutor Doria, and she soon recognizes the potential of someone with dreams (as opposed to neighborhood teens like Hamoudi and Youssef, imprisoned for drug dealing and car theft). Throughout, the strictures of patriarchal Muslim culture clash with a nascent feminist freedom and Doria's exuberant, sophisticated teen talk. This small novel reads like a quiet celebration within a chaotic ghetto.