Mois Benarroch is one of the most enigmatic figures in today's world literature. Born in Morocco, his writings are rooted in the country's landscapes and history; as a Sephardi Jew he travels the world of Jewish literature; and as in Israeli living in Jerusalem he incorporates the day to day life and politics of his country. A prolific novelist and poet who writes in three languages he never sets for one secure path and is always exploring new ways to make his literature a fresh one with a long time vision.
His poetry is one of compassion, social-political fight, and human. Multicultural by force, where others take multiculturalism as an idea, his life is forced to live within cultures. His novels take us from literary travel, to science-fiction, time travel back and forth, and a view that encompasses the past and the future, the relationships between Jews and Muslims, the life within cultures and the tragic fate of Christian-Jewish relations, always living a place for hope a belief in better days to come.
Known mainly as a poet in the English language world, thanks to a massive support from independent writers many of his novels are seeing light in English. Gates to Tangier, The Cathedral, Muriel, the Nobel Prize, (Ways to) Lucena, Keys to Tetouan, Raquel Says (Something Entirely Unexpected), have been published in 2015 and many more are on their way in the next year.
A best-selling novelist in Spain, an award winning poet in Israel, and often featured in the bestselling list of poetry books sold in amazon, now is the time to discover this old new writer with more than 30 books to his name.
Mois Benarroch was born in 1959, and has been awarded with the prestigious Amichay poetry prize in 2012.
"GATES TO TANGIER/EN LAS PUERTAS DE TÁNGER is not primarily a critique of the marginalization of the Sephardim in Israel, but rather an exploration of the Moroccan component of Sephardic identity. The Benzimra's pilgrimage to Tangiers, however is not suggesting that this Moroccan component is the essence of Sephardic identity. Benarroch follows Khatibi's bilingual paradigm in suggesting that identity is expressed in the intersection of languages. At one point in the novel, Alberto reflects on the significance of his own bilingual écriture... Unlike Bendahan, who translates Sephardic identity as ultimately European, the Sephardic communities are after all "embajadas españolas" Benarroch explores the Moroccaness of Sephardic identity as it is rearticulated, deferred, by Spanish and Hebrew... The search for the missing brother represents the promise of a stable identity, a mirage that in EN EN LAS PUERTAS DE TÁNGER is constantly metamorphosing. Toward the end of the novel, we find out Yusuf was injured during his circumcision and the doctors decided to treat him with hormones transforming him into Zohra Elbaz. While in Tangiers, Zohra runs into Fortu/Messod and they spend the night together at fortu-Messod's hotel. Benarroch has Zohra run into not one, not two, but three Benzimra men."
Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo. Memories of the Maghreb: Transnational Identities in Spanish Cultural Production,
Mois Benarroch nació en Tetuán, Marruecos en 1959. A los trece años emigra con sus padres a Israel y desde entonces vive en Jerusalén. Empieza a escribir poesía a los quince años, en inglés, después en hebreo, y finalmente en su lengua materna, el castellano. Publica sus primeros poemas en 1979. En los años 80 forma parte de varios grupos de vanguardia y edita la revista Marot. Su primer libro en hebreo aparece en 1994, titulado "Coplas del inmigrante". Publica también dos libros de cuentos, varios libros de poemas en Hebreo , Inglés y Español, y cuatro novelas. En el 2008 es galardonado con el premio del primer ministro en Israel.
En España ha publicado el poemario "Esquina en Tetuán" (Esquío, 2000) y en 2005 la novela "Lucena" (Lf ediciones). En el 2008 la editorial Destino publica la novela "En Las Puertas De Tánger"que llegó al TOP5 en Kindle España, y al n.2 an México. Y en el 2010 Escalera publica "Amor y Exilios".
Benarroch ha sido galardonado con el premio del primer ministro (2008) y el premio Yehuda Amijai de poesía (2012)