The Tangier Diaries, 1962-1979 – John Hopkins

1960s: Days of Rage


“A writer’s perfunctory yet absorbing diary of his life in Tangiers. Lifelong ÇmigrÇ and novelist Hopkins (The Flight of the Pelican, 1984 etc.), fresh out of Princeton and convinced that Wall Street and the professions were not for him, jaunted around South America and Europe before finally pitching up in Morocco. There, on and off for 17 years, he pursued with gathering success his literary ambitions. Cheap, exotic, permissive, Morocco (especially Tangiers) was one of the places to be in the early ’60s, especially for writers and artists and American millionaires. Now it all seems almost mythic, a great, outlandish American Bloomsbury. Hopkins delivers all the expected goodies and more: the requisite desert meditations (‘This is what the desert does. It leaves you with a terrible nostalgia for the purity you left behind. That purity was you”), the kef-censed evenings in the kasbah, the celebrity sightings. Beyond the…

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