Seductive, erotic and bubbling with the most minute of details, The Scents of Marie-Claire, set in Paris, tells of the extraordinary relationship between the Tunisian-born narrator and French Marie-Claire. From the moment they set eyes upon each other until the moment she leaves him, the narrator describes every stage of their relationship; sexual fascination, passion, love, jealousy, longing and destructiveness. The conflicts arising from the relationship between an Arab man and a Western woman are dealt with in a manner sometimes humorous, sometimes outright shocking. Living together under the same roof, the narrator discovers, for the first time, what it is to share full intimacy with a woman and, as he tells his story, he delves into his innermost thoughts and feelings, analysing the gradual growth and ultimate dissolution of their relationship.
Habib Selmi was born in 1951 in Kairouan, Tunisia. After graduating from the Uni- versity of Tunis, with a degree in Arabic Literature, Selmi taught the subject in Tunisia for five years, before moving to Paris in 1983, where he studied at the Sorbonne. Selmi is currently Professor of Arabic literature in Paris and has published seven novels, which have been translated into French, German and Italian.