Just Like Tomorrow
Publisher: Random House
Doria's life in a Parisian high-rise suburb isn't much fun. Her dad has returned to Morocco, seeking a new wife (and, hopefully, son); her illiterate mother is ground down by her cleaning job and her counsellor smells of alcohol.
But this is a story of obstinate, wryly humorous hope. Unlike the unfortunate girl upstairs, Doria is not imprisoned by her family, neither is she taking drugs; instead, she's destined for hairdressing college.
As her mother starts literacy classes, so Doria acquires fluency in her own critical readings – whether of French pop-TV or Magrebi culture – and slowly discovers her own political voice.
Sarah Adams's deft translation foregrounds Faïza Guene's sharply creative use of language, highlighting cross-currents of urban and racial tensions, in this sad, funny and important book.