Leïla Bahsain

Leïla Bahsaïn writes stories and novels. She was born and grew up in Morocco, she moved to France a decade ago.

Sociology, management and communications have been part of her education and career, always going hand in hand with her inner calling towards literature. Leïla Bahsaïn cares about women’s rights: in 2009, she has founded Zitoun, an association in Marrakesh working towards women’s literacy. To this day, more than 4000 women have benefited from the activities of Zitoun.

In her writing too, she often explores questions around the female condition, both within Eastern and Western contexts.

Bahsaïn published many short stories in magazines and in collective publications. In 2011, she was awarded the Tangiers short story prize (a prize lead by Moroccan literary magazine MLM, the French Institute of Tangiers and the Kingdom’s National Library). She regularly contributes to Apulée, a prestigious journal for literature and critical thinking, published by Zulma éditions in France.

Le Ciel sous nos pas (The Sky under our Footsteps) is Leïla Bahsaïn’s first novel (January 2019, Editions Albin Michel). The story features a young Moroccan woman full of life and thirsty for freedom. Uninhibited in the face of men and the values and stereotypes of the West, she traces her own journey towards emancipation. The book has been positively received by literary journalists, with reviews in Le Monde des livres, Livres Hebdo, France Inter, RFI… Included in several literary award lists, this first novel has been awarded by the Prix Méditerranée (Mediterannean Award). Written in French, Le Ciel sous nos pas is currently being translated by publishers in Morocco and Tunisia.

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