Summary and book reviews of Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène

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

Book Summary

Doria, 15, is growing up in the rough Paris immigrant public housing projects. She sets her dreams against the grim daily struggle of her life: "It's like a film script. . . . trouble is, our scriptwriter's got no talent. And he's never heard of happily ever after."

The Paradise projects are only a few metro stops from Paris, but here it's a whole different kind of France. Doria's father, the Beard, has headed back to their hometown in Morocco, leaving her and her mom to cope with their mektoub—their destiny—alone. They have a little help-- from a social worker sent by the city, a psychiatrist sent by the school, and a thug friend who recites Rimbaud.

It seems like fate’s dealt them an impossible hand, but Doria might still make a new life. She'll prove the projects aren't only about rap, soccer, and religious tension. She’ll take the Arabic word kif-kif (same old, same old) and mix it up with the French verb kiffer (to really like something). Now she has a whole new motto: Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow.

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 ...

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!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The strength of Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow (pronounced keef) is the narrator's voice. Doria, a bubbling pot of contradicting teenage emotions is a wickedly funny observer of her environment, who doesn't believe in leaving things unsaid and has made a moral code for herself from TV programs, "TV today is like the poor person's Koran". Through short, diary-like chapters she brings us up close and personal with her life and the very real problems of being a poor immigrant living in an effective ghetto, surrounded by poverty, bigotry, racism and misogyny - so we can get some sense of how overwhelming it is to survive in such an environment, let alone to dream of finding a better life.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review (765 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

Media Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
[C]ompelling... reveals Guene to be a promising addition to the world's literary voices.

Entertainment Weekly
A feisty, invigorating debut. [F]unny, infuriating, and hopeful about young womanhood and cultural welter. A-

Harper's Bazaar
Think of Doria on the same adolescent raft as Huck Finn and Holden Caulfield. A cunning wonder.

Publishers Weekly
This small novel reads like a quiet celebration within a chaotic ghetto.

Library Journal
Humor is abundant, despite the grim themes, and Doria is a compelling protagonist. Readers will cheer as she navigates through volatile terrain and eventually triumphs.

Booklist - Hazel Rochman
Touching, furious, sharp, and very funny.... honest about the oppression of women and about the prejudice, both ways, Guene also shows those who break free.

Kirkus Reviews
[A] smart, upbeat debut...an empowering new voice transforms kif-kif-same old, same old-into kiffer, something to be crazy about.

Author Blurb Laila Lalami, author of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
Moving and irreverent, sad and funny, full of rage and intelligence. [Guène's] characters are unforgettable, her voice fresh, and her book a delight.

Author Blurb Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street
A tale for anyone who has ever lived outside looking in, especially from that alien country called adolescence. A funny, heartfelt story from a wise guy who happens to be a girl. If you've ever fallen in love, if you've ever had your heart broken, this story is your story.

Reader Reviews

Lisa Conors

A relateable novel
This is a great book about a teenager who expresses all of her feeling, all the while being heartfelt.

Write your own review!

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!

Beyond the Book

22-year-old Faïza Guène (pronounced Fie-ee-za Gen - first syllable rhymes with pie) attends the University of St. Denis where she is a sociology major, and has just completed her first short film.  The child of Algerian immigrants, she was born in France and grew up in the public housing projects of Pantin, a suburb North-East of Paris.  For several years before going to university she was part of a publicly financed neighborhood film project writing scripts for TV.  She started writing Kiffe Kiffe when she was about seventeen, writing in longhand in cafes and on her parents' bed in their two-bed apartment that she shares with her parents and two siblings.  She describes her mother as "a ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

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!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Faïza Guène

If you liked Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
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: Your Duck Is My Duck
    Your Duck Is My Duck
    by Deborah Eisenberg
    In this collection of six short stories, Deborah Eisenberg presents characters confronting limits ...
  • Book Jacket: Unsheltered
    Unsheltered
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    Willa Knox's house is falling down. She recently inherited a Victorian residence in Vineland, ...
  • Book Jacket: Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Boneless Mercies
    The Boneless Mercies
    by April Genevieve Tucholke
    The Mercies are assassins, part of a long tradition of killers who serve to end the suffering of the...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Winter Soldier
by Daniel Mason

A story of war and medicine, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and of the mistakes we make.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Gone So Long
    by Andre Dubus III

    Dubus' first novel in a decade is a masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Gone So Long

Andre Dubus III's First Novel in a Decade

A masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

G H E Rope A H Will H H

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.