Morocco

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9780810936317: Morocco

Morocco - the name of this North African country conjures up romantic images of exotic Marrakesh, the casbah in Tangier or Fez, colourful marketplaces, and mysterious veiled women. No American writer is more closely identified with Morocco than Paul Bowles, who travelled there with his wife, Jane, in the 1930s and remained as a famous expatriate for many years. In 1991, San Francisco-based photographer Barry Brukoff travelled to Morocco to meet Bowles and encourage him to provide a text to accompany Brukoff's photographs of the country. Brukoff's photographs capture the look and feel of North African light, the brilliant colour of Arab mosaics, the characteristic shapes of mosque doorways and minarets, the bustle of native markets and the serenity of a desert oasis.

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Morocco is a land of heat and light, of vibrant colors shimmering under a North African sun. Clinging to the northwesternmost corner of the African continent, it has stood at a cultural crossroads for 1,000 years, its caravans penetrating deep into sub-Saharan Africa, its armies swarming north across the Straits of Gibraltar to conquer half of Spain before Morocco was itself colonized by the French. In modern-day Morocco, Peugeot trucks compete with donkeys for right of way, and women swathed from head to foot in djellabas and veils zoom through the streets on motor scooters. The cry of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer floats above the squawk and clamor of television sets, and businessmen in dark suits walk past mosques 1,000 years old during their daily commutes. Morocco is a land of heartbreaking beauty, color, and contrast, and in Morocco, author Paul Bowles and photographer Barry Brukoff bring it all to life in glorious images and lively prose.

Perhaps best known for his masterpiece The Sheltering Sky, Bowles has lived in Morocco for many years, and these previously published articles are a perceptive and entertaining introduction to his adopted land. (There's also a brand new foreword.) The 80 accompanying photographs are stunning, revealing a country composed of primary colors and brilliant shifts of light. A word of caution: open Morocco in a weak moment, and you could find yourself on the phone to your travel agent before the book is even half-read.

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Bowles, Paul, Brukoff, Barry
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