Leila's Dowry

A traditional Moroccan tale of a widowed baker who cherishes the donkey who was his dead wife's dowry. The donkey, like his master, is despised by his old friends in the village due to hardship and envy. Their one consolation is found in their days at the market in a nearby town, where one day they both find their way to a happier future. A modern parable set in a world that has changed little. More

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About Mark Swain

Mark Swain was born in Singapore in 1958, where his father was stationed in the RAF. He has lived in many countries, and as a young man found it hard to break the habit of a nomadic life, spending a great deal of his youth hitchhiking around Europe.

With a low boredom threshold, Mark has had dozens of jobs and quite a few careers, but only one wife. Studying Graphic Design at Hastings College of Art, he ran off and joined the Army in search of adventure. Later he found himself travelling the world on the QE2 as a silver-service waiter and going to the Falklands war. This life has given him plenty of source material and inspiration for writing.

Mark particularly enjoys the Short Story form, admiring American short story writers such as Raymond Carver, Richard Brautigan and Richard Ford as well as classic short story writers Franz Kafka and Anton Chekov. He is also a great admirer of George Orwell, John Steinbeck, Norman Maclean, Albert Camus and Jonathan Raban. Two collections of Mark's own short stories - including the award winning story 'Special Treatment' - have been released by his UK publisher, Tinderbox Publishing Ltd along with the bestselling "Long Road, Hard Lessons" a non-fiction book with photographs and maps about a 10,000-mile life-changing cycle journey he made with his teenage son from Ireland to Japan.

Shoehorned into his busy life, Mark enjoys film, motorcycling, long-board surfing, cycle touring, English micro-pubs, growing vegetables, travelling in his VW Camper-van, drawing, painting and sculpture. He is at home in England, but is constantly drawn back to Asia, Morocco, and to Dingle in Ireland.

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