Date Archives March 2017

Alternative lives on different tracks

If you live in the U.S., you’ll find my article on living a nomadic life in today’s Wall Street Journal. Or everyone can read it online. To be honest, I was a bit surprised when they asked me to write it—I didn’t think our lives would be of much interest to WSJ readers. But judging by the comments, tweets and emails I’ve already started getting, it’s resonated with quite a lot of people. I think it’s because a lot of people dream of escape, whatever that means to them. They think about the other… Read More

Happy International Women’s Day? Not in Morocco

I’d like to wish all of you a Happy International Women’s Day! Let’s all do what we can to #BeBoldForChange. I would really like it to be a happy day for women in Morocco, too, but from what I’ve seen over the past few months, I doubt that it will be. While travelling around Morocco, I’ve seen women in Morocco: hauling huge bundles of firewood like mules being told by their husband who they can and can’t talk to being prevented by their husband from giving their contact details to my wife… Read More

Review of Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones

Did you know that there’s an Albanian tradition in which, if there are no male heirs, a woman can choose to become a man, as long as she swears herself to virginity for life? Neither did I until I read Sworn Virgin, a fascinating novel by Albanian writer Elvira Dones, translated into English and published in 2014 by And Other Stories (a wonderful not-for-profit, largely reader-funded UK publisher). I’ve been interested in Albanian literature ever since I discovered Ismail Kadare (who wrote the foreword for this book) many years ago, and… Read More