A Riffian's Tune

By Joseph M. Labaki

Dr. Joseph M. Labaki was born in the Rif region of Morocco in the final days of Spanish rule. Determined to escaped a preordained future of shepherding and forge a new path, Joseph's precarious quest for education led him first across the country, and then across a continent.


Joseph holds Ph.D.'s in phenomenology from the Universities of Louvain and Southampton and a B.D. from the University of Edinburgh. He has undertaken research at the University of Cambridge, written articles and held the post of Professor du Chair at the University of Rabat. His first book, Inconscient et Sexualite, was in the field of phenomenology. A Riffian's Tune is his second book and first novel.


He now lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two daughters where he continues to write, teach and research in the field of phenomenology.


'Really enjoyed this book, could hardly put it down as I was desperate to find out what happened next!' - Reader review from Amazon.co.uk


High in the Rif Mountains of Morocco, one Berber boy’s days are spent memorising the Koran and tending his sheep. In post-WWII rural Morocco, one's path is forged by tradition and religion, not by a silly boy’s dreams. After all, dreams don’t buy shoes and one day Jusef would really like a pair of those! But.... what if destinies can be changed?


Jusef can’t help it. He’s curious and ambitious; what lies beyond the mountains? And the land visible from the highest peak – Europe? Jusef longs to be educated like the French children he's seen and leaves home for Fez with only a blanket and a handful of money sewn into his trousers. So begins a remarkable quest that will not only change his life, but, as he uncovers a deep family secret, who he thinks he is -- forever. 


The journey takes him on a lonely, dangerous path where he will either succumb to obstacles like homelessness, hunger and corruption or overcome them. What follows is an unrelenting test of Jusef’s endurance and character as he learns much about life, but also more about himself than he ever imagined. Through the triumphs and adversities that make up the rich fabric of life, Jusef finds education can come in more than one form.


The autobiographical novel is told from the direct, personal viewpoint of the young shepherd boy, Jusef. As he captures the complexity of human experience for the first time, his story rings testament to the transforming power of hope and the importance of forging your own path – wherever your dreams may take you.


'I was blown away by this book. Recommended by a colleague I was interested as I have been to Morocco many times on holiday and after reading this I want to go back, this time to see it with new eyes. A page turning, thrilling read, I was gripped by the way the author enabled the reader to journey through Jusef's life with him. A wonderfully written story that I could not put down and left me wanting more.' - Reader Review Goodreads.com



Additional Information :

Independently Published 2013 (Clunett Press)

ISBN: 9780992648404 - 119.000 words - 438 pages - Paperback

World Rights Available (Incl. World English)

KvK nr.:  60491833

VAT nr: NL002160634B54

Copyright Blackbird Literary Agency© - Made by Yve-Design