Magical Journeys: Morocco
By Claire Steele
Morocco is a collection of stories by twelve writers arising out of the Magical Journeys creative writing retreat to Morocco. Each of the different stories opens a door through which the reader is invited into the mysterious, sometimes dark and disturbing, sometimes brilliant and uplifting, story-space of Morocco: a land of salt and oranges, and its own particular magic. Here, you are invited to meet the fig seller, the soothsayer and the music man and to follow them into the deep, warm heart of Morocco. These are stories about how the people we meet change us forever, and how the places we find ourselves in reveal us in new and exciting ways.
The idea behind the creative writing retreats is that writers can come together in new environments; environments which enable personal as well as creative reinventions. These stories are the result of those magical collaborations between individual writers and between characters. They bring together a cluster of encounters that set a spark and inspire a new understanding of the world and of ourselves. The discoveries behind these stories are discoveries about beauty and about belonging. Some of them, such asSisters of the Same Bedand Fragmentswere written or conceived on retreat; some of them such as The Unbroken Circleand Mint Tea and Pomegranatesare largely autobiographical; others such as At the Gate of the Yearand Nadirseek out the distortions and disruptions of the self in an unfamiliar location. Some are funny – Granny’s Legacy– some are sad. All of them, in different ways, address what it means to connect across cultures and faiths, and how we might find a life; and there is perhaps no more timely moment than now to attend to these issues.
“Stories are what connect us to each other”
The stories have great individuality and each creates its own separate version of Morocco, either as a central figure, or as a dream at the very edge of the story. These visions are forceful, beguiling, strange and beautiful. They are as diverse, profound and moving as Morocco itself.
Storytelling is as much a part of the Moroccan experience as the glorious rugs, the ancient city walls saturated with colour and the bustling markets, the mint tea and the vast and fragrant Berber banquets in which everyone is invited to partake. Sharing characterizes Moroccan culture and this collection of stories celebrates that philosophy of sensual pleasure and being drawn into an intimate and communal world via the magic of the story.
“The discoveries behind these stories are discoveries about beauty and about belonging”
Stories are what connect us to each other. They start that chain reaction of pleasure and surprise that mean that they linger in the mind, long after we have finished reading them. The short story is a direct and powerful medium for a writer to say something both precise and capacious. These twelve stories take us into the ancient alleyways of Morocco, pricking all our senses, provoking us to consider again what it was we thought we knew about ourselves, and see therein something utterly wonderful, strange and new.
Morocco is available to order now on Amazon, expect delivery mid-August: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Morocco-Magical-Journeys/dp/1909227889/ref=sr_1_2?qid=1565030437&refinements=p_27%3AMagical+Journeys&s=books&sr=1-2&text=Magical+Journeys