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— 2018 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize Citation

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Malika Moustadraf

Malika Moustadraf (1962–2006) was a preeminent arabophone Moroccan writer and one of the forebears of the short story genre in Morocco. She died of kidney disease at the age of forty-four, leaving behind a novel (Wounds of the Soul and the Body, 1986) and a collection of short stories (Trente-Six, 2004), which takes its name from the psychiatric wing of the Casablanca hospital. She is celebrated for writing about life in the margins, and the female body and experience. Her work has been compared to that of Mohamed Choukri and her writing style is direct, unfiltered, and steeped in the language of Casablanca’s streets. 

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