Leila Abouzeid, the first female Moroccan writer to be translated
into English, is a trailblazer in that she writes in Arabic and not the French language
preferred by her peers. She was born in 1950 and attended college in America before she
began her career as a print and radio journalist, then segued into work as a press
assistant in government ministries and the prime minister’s office.
She is a former fellow of the World Press Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Her first novel Year of the Elephant chronicles events - including divorce, the struggle against poverty
and conflict between family members - that are common themes in contemporary Moroccan
literature. But in her work, they are presented from the eyes of a woman. She has charted a very deep personal journey through
family conflicts ignited by the country’s civil unrest, as Morocco broke away from
French colonial He latest book The Last Chapter is semi-autobiographical and about
a young Moroccan woman and her struggle to find an identity in the second half of
the twentieth century.