Excerpt from Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow

by Faïza Guène

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène X
Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Jul 2006, 192 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow
by Faïza Guène

It’s Monday and, like every Monday, I’ve been over at Madame Burlaud’s. Madame Burlaud’s old, she’s ugly and she stinks of RID anti-lice shampoo. She’s harmless, but sometimes she worries me. Today, she took a whole bunch of weird pictures out of her bottom drawer, these huge stains that looked like dried vomit. She asked me what they made me think of. I told her and she stared at me with her bugged-out eyes, shaking her head like those little toy dogs in the backs of cars.

It was school that signed me up to see her. The teachers, at least when they were between strikes, decided I’d better see somebody because they thought I was shut down or depressed or something. Maybe they’ve got a point, I don’t give a shit, I go, it’s paid for by the government.

I guess I’ve been off like this since my dad left. He went a long way away. He went back to Morocco to marry another woman who’s gotta be younger and more fertile than my mom. After me, Mom couldn’t have any more children. But it wasn’t like she didn’t try. She tried for a long time. When I think of all the girls who get pregnant their first time, without even meaning to…. Dad, he wanted a son. For his pride, his reputation, the family honor and probably lots of other stupid reasons. But he only got one kid, and it was a girl. Me. You could say I didn’t exactly meet customer requirements. Trouble is, it’s not like at the supermarket: there’s no customer satisfaction guarantee. So one day, The Beard realized there was no point trying any more with my mom and he broke it off and left. Just like that, no warning. All I remember is that I was watching an episode from the fourth series of X-Files I’d rented from the video store on the corner. The door banged shut. From the window, I saw a gray taxi pulling away. That’s all. That was over six months ago. She’s probably pregnant by now, that peasant woman he married. I can see now exactly how it will all go down next: seven days after the birth they’ll hold the baptism ceremony and invite the whole village. A band of old sheiks with their camel-hide drums will come over just for the big event. It’ll cost him a fortune – all his worker’s pension from Renault. And then they’ll slit the throat of a giant sheep, to give the baby its first name. It’ll be Mohammed. Ten to one.

When Madame Burlaud asks me if I miss my dad, I say ‘no’, but she doesn’t believe me. She’s pretty smart like that, for an old lady. Whatever, it’s no big deal, my mom’s here. Well, at least she’s here physically. Because in her head, she’s somewhere else, you know? Somewhere even further away than my father.



Ramadan started just over a week ago. I got Mom to sign a slip saying why I wouldn’t be eating in the cafeteria . When I gave it to the principal, he asked if I thought he was a complete and total idiot. His name is M. Loiseau. He’s fat, he’s stupid, and when he opens his mouth it reeks of cheap wine, and he smokes a pipe. At the end of the school day, his big sister picks him up out front in a red hatchback. So when he wants to play the big boss, he’s kind of got a credibility problem.

Anyway, Monsieur Loiseau asked me if I was taking him for a complete and utter idiot because he thought I’d forged my mom’s name on the slip. How stupid is that? If I’d wanted to fake her signature, I’d have given her a real one. On this thing Mom just made a kind of squiggly shape on the page. She’s not used to holding a pen. That jerk didn’t even think about what he was saying, didn’t even ask himself why her signature might be weird.. He’s one of those people who think illiteracy is like AIDS. It only exists in Africa.

Excerpted from Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow, by Faïza Guène. (c) 2006. Reproduced wither permission of the Publisher, Harcourt Books. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Book of Goose
    The Book of Goose
    by Yiyun Li
    Yiyun Li's The Book of Goose is a story of childhood friendship between narrator Agnès, a one-...
  • Book Jacket: Big Red
    Big Red
    by Jerome Charyn
    Jerome Charyn made his name as an author of detective novels, and over the years he has taken his ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Our Missing Hearts
    by Celeste Ng

    From the author of Little Fires Everywhere, the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

G R T Bad R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.