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A House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Moroccoby Suzanna Clarke
Synopses & Reviews
The Medina — the Old City — of Fez is the best-preserved, medieval walled city in the world. Inside this vibrant Moroccan community, internet cafes and mobile phones coexist with a maze of donkey-trod alleyways, thousand-year-old sewer systems, and Arab-style houses, gorgeous with intricate, if often shabby, mosaic work. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; While vacationing in Morocco, Suzanna Clarke and her husband, Sandy, are inspired to buy a dilapidated, centuries-old riad in Fez with the aim of restoring it to its original splendor, using only traditional craftsmen and handmade materials. So begins a remarkable adventure that is bewildering, at times hilarious, and ultimately immensely rewarding. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;iandgt;A House in Fezandlt;/iandgt; chronicles their meticulous restoration, but it is also a journey into Moroccan customs and lore and a window into the lives of its people as friendships blossom. When the riad is finally returned to its former glory, Suzanna finds she has not just restored an old house, but also her soul.
"Beware of falling in love while on vacation. You might end up buying a riad. Less of a tourist center than Marrakesh or Tangier, Fez is the largest car-free urban area and the best-preserved medieval walled city in the world. While on vacation, Australian photojournalist Clarke and her husband were bewitched by the exotic city, deciding to return and begin a search for a riad (a large home with an inner courtyard) to renovate. This enjoyable narrative chronicles the couple's navigation through a puzzling new world. Readers get to tag along while Clarke deals with Kafkaesque bureaucracy, maneuvers delicately through relationships with neighbors, contractors and construction workers, and goes back to school to improve her French. She weaves this personal narrative together with snippets of the fascinating history and culture of her adopted country. This is an all too brief but enjoyable excursion into one woman's experience with a place she clearly loves. Readers will surely fall under its spell as well." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In the tradition of "Eat, Pray, Love" and "A Year in Provence" comes a poignantly told, gorgeously illustrated story of setting up house in Morocco. 8 pages of full-color photos.
About the Author
Suzanna Clarke is a photojournalist and the arts editor of The Courier-Mail (Australia), who splits her time among Australia, Bordeaux, and Fez. Visit her blog, The View From Fez at riadzany.blogspot.com.
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Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Historic Preservation » General