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Having learned to appreciate Muslim life while living in Pakistan, Peter Mayne settled down to live in the back streets of Marrakesh in the 1950s. Rather than watch from the shelter of a hotel terrace, he rented rooms, learned the language, made friends, and became embroiled in conspiratorial picnics, hashish-laced dinners and in the enchantments and misunderstandings of the street, with its festivals, love affairs, potions and gossip. By turns used, abused and cherished by his neighbours, Mayne wrote their letters for them and captured the essence of their lives in this affectionate and hilarious acount.

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