Book Size: 8" x 5.25"

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781623717278

Imprint: Interlink Books

Release date: Fall 2023


The House on Butterfly Street

A Novel


$ 18

About this book

In a country where the precarious rights of women and children can be reversed in an instant, legacies of resilience still reverberate across time.

Present-day Morocco: With the breakdown of her marriage, physician Nadine Alam has become unable to work. Her teenage daughter Al has retreated into silence, and now her young housekeeper Ghalia has disappeared.

One morning, Nadine receives an envelope from an unidentified sender. Inside it is a newspaper clipping, an article about a single mother and her newborn child, a boy named Noor—typically a name given to girls, meaning light. Nadine’s country is one where single mothers and children born out of wedlock are considered pariahs, outside the protection of the law. Why would a journalist disclose the child’s name? And why was she sent this clipping?

Drawn to these mysteries, Nadine embarks on a search that takes her into a Casablanca she barely knew existed. There she encounters strong, inspiring people but also deeply flawed, terrible ones. Unraveling clues to her connection with the story, she is moved to try to help this mother and child. As she plunges deeper and deeper into an unknown world, Nadine finds she must come to terms with her own family’s history, and with lingering scars of her country’s past in which her family is entwined.

A vivid, kaleidoscopic portrait of a Casablanca household.


About the author

Moroccan novelist Mhani Alaoui’s work embraces both her roots and global themes.She lived and studied in the US for twelve years before returning to Casablanca. An anthropologist by training, her multilayered writing vividly depicts lives from her Arab North African cradle, giving voice to intergenerational aspirations, trials, and legacies,particularly of her women characters. While her storytelling powerfully uncovers history’s scars, her compassionate insight invites readers to imagine, yearn for, and seek a more just and kinder world. In addition to The House on Butterfly Street, her previous works include Dreams of Maryam Tair and Aya Dane.


“Alaoui delves deeply into the inner lives of her diverse cast of characters, presenting their stories and experiences in vivid and descriptive language. Individual chapters explore the characters’ pasts … and how Morocco’s history feeds into the situations faced by the women in the story. This reflective, social-issue-focused character study will appeal to readers of Laila Lalami.”
Gripping, vivid, and extremely engaging. Mhani Alaoui is a gifted novelist who writes with honesty, simplicity, and grace.
Mustapha Fahmi, University of Quebec, Shakespeare scholar and writer


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