House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco

House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco

by Suzanna Clarke
3.2 9

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Overview

House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco by Suzanna Clarke

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.

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.

A House in Fez 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416578932
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 11/11/2008
Edition description: Original
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 679,772
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Born in New Zealand, Suzanna Clarke grew up in several parts of Australia. In her twenties she lived in a Welsh commune, an Amsterdam squat and a Buddhist monastery in Nepal. She has worked as a photojournalist for more than two decades and is the arts director of The Daily Mail in Brisbane. Her husband, Sandy, is a radio broadcaster who now spends most of his time in Fez. Their blog is riadzany.blogspot.com.

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House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Ayisha More than 1 year ago
What makes Suzanna Clarke's book so good is that it is very different from the rather mundane "my year in Tuscany" genre. Ms Clarke has managed to get beneath the surface of the culture and explore the daily life of ordinary people in Fez.

Her writing is fluid, fluent and compelling. Every step of the way you feel as if you are with her in the dust and mayhem of the renovation, or walking the streets as she explores the Medina of Fez.

Ms Clarke's encounters with local women, craftspeople and shopkeepers are engaging and at times very funny. A charming aspect of her writing is the honesty with which she reveals her own stumbling attempts to come to grips with a foreign culture. The window into an Islamic society is superb.

As if the story was not remarkable, Suzanna Clarke's photographs are stunning. Her biography reports that she is an award winning photographer and if the results in this book are anything to go by, one can see why. They are simply breathtaking.

this is a must have book not only for armchair travellers, but also for those interested in exploring other culture. It is a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yo.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this in preparation for a trip to Morocco, but would recommend it to anyone who likes this genre. Lovely description of trials and tribulations of renovations, in a fascinating country. Very interesting to compare to the more well known one -- the name of which is escaping me -- about a renovation in Casablanca, which is written from a male perspective. I preferred the female view of Suzanna Clarke's book.
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uffa More than 1 year ago
Rewarding and what an adventure. I love books like this. Please Suzanna, Part two; is a must!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unabashedly vile depiction of Moroccans