When author Samantha Herron visited Morocco for the first time, it changed the course of her life. On her return to London she abandoned a successful art career in order to study Arabic. She went on to spend time living with a family of former nomads, in a small village in the Draa Valley on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Morocco. Here she immersed herself in the language, culture and traditions of the country.
She became captivated by the ancient art of storytelling, which she found to be living and thriving informally amongst the community in which she was living. She began collecting stories that she was hearing and then found herself imagining and composing her own Moroccan stories.
This debut collection of stories, all set in contemporary Morocco, takes the reader on a journey into the hearts and minds of ordinary Moroccans and offers a glimpse into life in this magical and ancient land.
The Djinn in the Skull
When Samantha Herron visited Morocco for the first time it changed the course of her life. On her return to London she abandoned a successful art career in order to study Arabic. She went on to spend time living with a family of former nomads in Morocco’s Draa Valley on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
Her previous work includes the English and Arabic publication DARDASHA: TESTIMONIES OF MIGRATION BY MOROCCAN WOMEN (Soul Bay Press 2011), which was produced in association with the Al Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Centre and featured at Nour Festival of Arts 2013.
Samantha’s debut collection THE DJINN IN THE SKULL: STORIES FROM HIDDEN MOROCCO is her first work of fiction.
Samantha first presented some of her stories at The Storytelling Circle at Nour Festival of Arts 2014. She also appeared at the 2015 Gibraltar International Literary Festival and the 2016 Oxford Literary Festival, where she talked to author and critic Iain Finlayson about the stories in THE DJINN IN THE SKULL: STORIES FROM HIDDEN MOROCCO and her experiences living with the family in Morocco . In 2016 she delivered a series of talks at the American Cultural Associations’sLanguage Centres in Morocco, the Arabic Language Institute in Fez and the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.
Visit Samantha’s website where you can read an interview with Samantha which first appeared on the Idries Shah Foundation blog.
Samantha is currently writing a new collection of short stories, learning Greek, and exploring Sufism.
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