Born in 1926 to a rich Moroccan businessman, Driss Chraibi is one of the most distinct voices in modern North African literature. His upper-middle-class background exposed him to a thoroughly French education of the type usually reserved for assimilated Africans. From a French grammar school in Casablanca, he went to Paris, where he studied chemistry Chraibi has lived most of his life in France, where he has worked in various chemical laboratories and as a freelance journalist. But, despite his assimilated status in France, Chraibi has remained largely alienated intellectually and spiritually from France. A nonconformist, almost nihilistic in his younger days, Chraibi lets his novels reflect his deep antipathies, not only to France and to Western values, but also to Islam and to his own Arabic heritage. This crisis of dual alienation may be responsible for the violence that critics perceive in his works. Les Boucs (The Butts) (1955), named for a racist French epithet for North African Arabs settled in Paris, is widely seen as a counterracist call for Arab vengeance against the French. Chraibi's works are by no means uniformly tendentious. His more recent works reflect a sober appreciation of the emotional and spiritual distance between the colonizer (the French) and the colonized (North African Arabs). He has developed more balanced artistic attitudes, at times creating characters that function as viable role models for resolving the deep tensions that he perceives between the West and the Orient, and between the past and the present. His well-established international standing is reflected in the growing number of his works that have been translated into English and other languages.