Synopses & Reviews
In this stunning novel, Assia Djebar intertwines the history of her native Algeria with episodes from the life of a young girl in a story stretching from the French conquest in 1830 to the War of Liberation of the 1950s. The girl, growing up in the old Roman coastal town of Cherchel, sees her life in contrast to that of a neighboring French family, and yearns for more than law and tradition allow her to experience. Headstrong and passionate, she escapes from the cloistered life of her family to join her brother in the maquis' fight against French domination.
Djebar's exceptional descriptive powers bring to life the experiences of girls and women caught up in the dual struggle for independence - both their own and Algeria's.
In this stunning novel, Assia Djebar intertwines the history of her native Algeria with episodes from the life of a young girl.
About the Author
Assia Djebar is considered as a major woman writer in Maghreb. By the time she was thirty, she had written four novels in French. In 1962, she abandoned fiction writing in French and devoted herself the teaching history at the University of Algiers. During the ensuing twelve years, she tried to tackle the problem of the transition from writing in French to writing in Arabic. She found a partial solution to this problem in the cinema with her film La Nouba des femmes du Mont Chenoua, which was awarded the Critic's Prize at the Venice Biennal 1979. In 1980 Assia published a volume of short stories dealing with the lives of contemporary urban Algerian women: Femmes d'Alger dans leur appartemen. Assia Djebar's work has been known to the English reader primarily through the translation of her first novel La Soif (1957) under the title of The Mischief. L'amour, la fantasia, translated as Fantasia: an Algerian Cavalcade was published in 1985.