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

  • 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" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes was read and reviewed by 22 BookBrowse members for First ...
  • Book Jacket: The Judge Hunter
    The Judge Hunter
    by Christopher Buckley
    In London 1664, Balthasar de St. Michel or "Balty" has no discernable skills besides pestering his ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Clock Dance
    by Anne Tyler

    A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.