81 pages 2 hours read

Faiza Guene

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2004

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Character Analysis

Doria

Doria, the narrator and protagonist of Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow, is the fifteen-year-old daughter of Moroccan immigrants. She lives with her mother in a high-rise housing project, the Paradise Estates, in the Parisian suburb of Livry-Gargan. At the beginning of the novel, Dorian and her mother, Yasmina, are coping with her father’s abandonment. Doria has become withdrawn, according to her school teachers. She hides her vulnerability by secretly mocking those who threaten her fragile self-image, and by “playing the autistic kid” who shuts herself off from others. Doria reads widely but is not motivated to apply herself in school. She is an avid consumer of popular culture in all its forms, and constructs elaborate daydreams based on fragments of TV and film as a way of escaping her reality.

Doria cannot forget that she disappointed her father by not being born male. She struggles with the sense that being a girl means she is “nobody special,” but is also a sharp critic of traditional gender roles. She is aware of her own marginal position in French society and observes it critically but appreciates elements of French culture, such as the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud. Despite her evident intelligence, Doria flunks out of school and is placed in a vocational program for hairdressing.

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