Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow

by Faiza Guène, translated by Sarah Adams

Available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The Paradise projects are only a few metro stops from Paris, but here it's a whole different kind of France. Doria's father, the Beard, has headed back to their hometown in Morocco, leaving her and her mom to cope with their mektoub—their destiny—alone. They have a little help-- from a social worker sent by the city, a psychiatrist sent by the school, and a thug friend who recites Rimbaud.

It seems like fate’s dealt them an impossible hand, but Doria might still make a new life. She'll prove the projects aren't only about rap, soccer, and religious tension. She’ll take the Arabic word kif-kif (same old, same old) and mix it up with the French verb kiffer (to really like something). Now she has a whole new motto: KIFFE KIFFE TOMORROW.

Faiza Guène, the child of Algerian immigrants, grew up in the public housing projects of Pantin, outside Paris. She is the author of Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow and Some Dream For Fools.