African Writers Index: Algeria

English, French, Bilingual,

benjamin sehene

Pour commander ce best-seller, controverse de Benjamin Sehene

Cliquez sur la banniere

Google

Home > CountriesAlgeria >
Countries: Algeria


Latest Books!
Click Here

Jean Amrouche (1907-1962) is one of the pioneers of Algerian literature in French. He was born into a Catholic family in the Kabyle mountains. At a certain point the family was forced to emigrate to Tunisia where he was educated and began his career. As a high school teacher in Tunis, Albert Memmi was one of his students. During the Algerian Civil War he saw it as his duty to explain the French to Algerians and Algerians to France. He published his first book or poetry, Cendres in 1934. This, and his second volume, �toile secr*te are marked by themes of mysticism and exile. Amrouche was also concerned with the preservation of his Amazigh (Berber) cultural heritage. He collected songs from the Amazigh region of Kabylie in his 1939 book Chants berb*res de Kabylie. Books by Jean Amrouche in French

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Marguerite Taos Amrouche--Born in 1913, Marguerite-Taos is the younger sister of Jean Amrouche. Like her brother, she was concerned with preserving the cultural heritage of the Kabylie. In 1966 she published a collection of tales, poems and proverbs called le Grain magique. She also collected and recorded songs and chants from this culture. She also wrote two novels: l'Amant imaginaire (1975) and an autobiographical novel Jacinthe noire (1947). Books in by Taos Amrouche French---English translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Mouloud Mammeri was born on the 28th of December 1917 in Kabylia. A patriot who struggled for the independence of Algeria from French Colonization, he also studied in Morocco and in France before becoming director of the Centre de recherche anthropologiques in Algiers. But Mammeri is probably best known as a staunch advocate for cultural pluralism in Algeria and for the struggle for the recognition of the Amazigh culture and language throughout North Africa. In 1980 his lecture on ancient Amazigh poetry from Kabylie was canceled by the authorities. This act of cultural repression triggered massive demonstrations all over Algeria. Among the people in the front ranks of the demonstrations were Kabylie artists and intellectuals. The date in which the demonstrations started is still celebrated as Tafsut Imazighen "The Amazigh Spring" by Amazigh cultural movements all over North Africa. Mammeri was a founder of a review, Awal , dedicated to research into Amazigh culture, language and history. His novels include La Colline Oubli* (1952), Le Sommeil du juste (1955) and l'Opium et le B�ton (1965). He also collected the poems and stories of his native region in Contes Berberes de Kabylie and Po*mes kabyles anciens (1980). Books by Mouloud Mammeri in French

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Abdelhamid Benhedougga was born in 1925 in El Mansoura (Bordj-Bou-Arreridj), and pursued his higher educaiton in Tunisia. He returned to Algeria in 1954 where he taught Arabic literature. In 1955 he left for France where he held odd jobs to earn a living. He retunred to Tunisia in 1958 where he wrote for the radio and press of the FLN. He returned to Algeria in 1962 and has written for the theater, radio and television, including the BBC and Radio Tunisia. His publications inlcude a collection of articles called Al Djazair Bayn El amsi wal youmi (Algeria Between Yesterday and Today, 1958) a collection of poems, Al-Arwah Ash-Shaghira (Empty Souls, 1967) and several novels, most recently Wa Ghadan Yaoum Djadid (Tomorrow is a New Day, 1992). His novel, Je reve d'un monde..., (I Dream of a World) has been published in French translation in number 15-16 of Algerie Litterature / Action

Kateb Yacine--Born August 6, 1929 in Constantine, Kateb Yacine is one of the most respected writers in the Maghreb. His most famous novel is Nedjma, was published in the midst of Algeria's anti-colonial war against the French. It arguably the most important novels in the Francophone Maghrebi tradition. Yacine has described it as "autobiographie au plurielle" in which three narratives, memories of his childhood and his mother, infatuation with his cousin Nedjma and Algerian history. He has also published poetry (Soliloques) and theater (Le Cercle des repr*sailles) and other novels. He died on October 28,1989. Books by Kateb Yacine in French---English Translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Jean Senac--The child of an unknown father, Jean Senac was born in 1926 to Jeanne Comma in 1926 in a village near Oran. It is said that this status as a "bastard" was the source for his poetic genius and, indeed, Senac frequently uses his quest for identity as a metaphor for Algeria's status as a newly independent nation. This search is most pronounced in Senac's only novel �bauche du Pere, a remarkable autobiographical novel published after Senac was brutally murdered on August 19, 1962.

He was a protege of Albert Camus who became very much a father figure for the young poet, a relationship strained by Senac fervent support for Algerian independence. Senac was an Algerian citizen by choice and his love for the nation is always present in his poetry. Some of his collections are D*rision et Vertige, Poemes, and Avant-Corps. Books by Jean S*nac in French--See, also, the anthology of Senac's works published by Marsa Editions.

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Mohammed Dib is by far Algeria's most prolific writer and a major figure of world literature. His work provides a fascinating, moving picture of Algerian history beginning with a trilogy Algerie which covered the period from 1939-1942. The trilogy includes the novels: La Grande Maison, l'Incendie and Le Metier a tisser. Dib is an innovative writer who often explored experimental techniques. For example,Qui se souvient de la mer is a novel about the war for independence in Algeria, set in a mythical, science fiction like city. In so doing, the novel becomes a compelling allegorical narrative of the specific conflict in Algeria and of the psychology of resistance to oppression.

Dib's other novels include: Le Talisman, La Danse du roi, Habel, and, most recently, Le Desert sans detour. He has also published collections of poetry such as Ombre gardienne; Feu, beau feu and O vive. Books by Mohamed Dib in French----English Translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Assia Djebar is certainly the best known woman writer (if not the best known overall) of the Maghreb, at least in the West.She taught history for many years at the University of Algiers, and much of work is pervaded by persistent historical questioning. But above all Djebar's work is concerned with the situation of women in Algeria and with giving them the voice that elements in society would have them denied. She is also a prize winning film-maker.

Les Enfants du nouveau monde (1962), the first of her works to receive widespread critical acclaim, is a novel which deals with the Algerian anti-colonial war and, in particular, the role women played in it. Femmes d'Alger dans leur appartement (1980) takes its title from Delacroix's famous painting and is made up almost entirely of conversations between women. L'Amour la fantasia (1985) is an extraordinarily complex work which weaves together historical narratives of French colonization and autobiography. In Loin de M*dine (1991) she explores the lives of the women in the life of the prophet Mohammed. Her other novels include La Soif (1957), Les Impatients (1958), Les Allouettes naives (1964) and Ombre sultane (1987). Books by Assia Djebar in French---English Translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Tahar Ouettar (also spelled Tahir Wattar) Is one of the more inportant figures in Algerian literature written in Arabic. He began his higher studies in Constantine, Tunisia, but left in 1956 to join the Civil Organization of the FLN. After the war he edited periodicals in Tunisia and Algeria. He also served as Controller of the FLN and Director Genreal of Algerian Radio. He has published novels plays and short stories in Arabic. Titles include: al-Laz (The Ace, 1974) 'Urs baghl (The Donkey's Wedding, 1978), Az-Zilzel (The Earthquake, 1974) and al-Shama'a wa'l-dahaliz (The Candle and Dark Tunnels, 1995). He currently resides in Algiers. English Translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Ahlam Mosteghanemi--Ahlam Mosteghanemi is the author of Dhakirat al-jasad (1985), the first novel published by an Algerian woman in Arabic. In 2000, an English translation bearing the title Memory in the Flesh was published by the American University in Cairo, as a result of the novel receiving the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature. Holder of a B.A. in Arabic literature from the University of Algiers and doctorate in sociology from the Sorbonne, Mosteghanemi has written two novels, two volumes of poetry and has published a collection of essays called Alg*rie: Femmes et *critures. Books by Ahlam Mosteghanemi in French---English Translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Leila Sebbar--Born and raised in Algeria, Leila Sebbar moved to France at the age of 17. In fact, many of her novels deal with the situation of Algerian women who have immigrated to Europe. Some of the titles which built her reputation are: On tue les petites filles (1980), Des femmes dans la maison (181) and Sherazade (1982). Books by Leila Sebbar in French---English Translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Rachid Boudjedra--It is said that the publication of Rachid Boudjedra's first novella R*pudiation (1969) announced a new generation of Algerian writers. Through a story recounted by a young Algerian to his foreign lover concerning the life of his mother who had been repudiated by his father, Boudjedra questions the values of his traditional society. According to the author, the text is partially autobiographical, stemming from the repudiation of Boudjedra's mother by his father.

Boudjedra's fiction is provocative, experimental and moving. Topographie ideale pour un agression caract*ris*e, for example, is the story of an illiterate immigrant lost in the Paris metro through which Boudjedra examines complex philosophical and aesthetic issues. FIS de la haine is a work of nonfiction in which Boudjedra examines the roots of the current crisis in Algeria. The books pulls no punches towards the FIS, the West, or anyone else. And yet Boudjedra makes every effort to sort out the bloodthirsty ambitions of the FIS (Islamic Salvation Front) from the more tolerant tradition of Islam, and the ruthless, money-driven character of the West from its noble humanistic tradition. Since 1982 he has written exclusively in Arabic and the issuing French versions of his novels. Books by Rachid Boudjedra in French---English Translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Mohamed Sari was born in 1958 in Menacer, in the Cherchell region of Algeria. He and is currently a professor of Arabic literature at the University of Algiers. He has published literary criticism and three novels in Arabic, including As-Sa'ir (1986) and 'ala Djibel Ad-Dahra (The Mountains of Dara, 1988). His newest novel, Le Labyrinthe, has been published in French translation in Alg*rie Litterature / Action, Nos 41-42.

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Tahar Djaout was one of the first of a far too long string of intellectuals to be killed in the violence that has shaken Algeria since the canceled 1992 elections. One of the men arrested for the assassination allegedly said that Djaout was targeted because, "he wrote too well, he had an intelligent pen, and he was able to touch people; because of this he was a danger to the fundamentalist ideology." Since his assassination, Djaout has become an important symbol for freedom of expression and the movement for a pluralist state in Algeria, but beyond all this, the world lost a phenomenal literary talent when he died.

Djaout was born in Kabylie, (1952) studied mathematics at the university, then became a journalist. As such he was a staunch advocate for democracy, and a harsh critic of corruption in the Algerian government and of the FIS. Although he began his literary career in poetry, he is best known for his novels. The three which brought him the most attention are: Les chercheurs d'os , the story of a boy who goes off to search for the remains of his brother after the Algerian war for independence; Le Invention du d*sert, in which a writer working on a history of the Almohad movement in North Africa confronts the ghost of history, bringing an ancient religious reformer back to life in his mind to confront the street of Paris; and Les Vigiles, the story of a young inventor and a old war veteran who confront the corruption of their society. A posthumous novel, Le Dernier ete de la raison, was published in 1999, in which Djaout imagines life in a state controlled by a fundamentalist government and one individuals resistance to it. Books by Tahar Djaout in French

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Rachid Mimouni--Decades after Algerian independence Rachid Mimouni's literary production in French shows the incredible ability of Maghrebi writers to use French as a language of artistic creation and expression. Although he died at very young age in his self-imposed exile in Tangiers,Morocco, Mimouni left behind an impressive body of work that grapples with some of the most powerful issues in modern Algerian history. Some of his works are: Le Fleuve detourne (1982), Une paix � vivre (1983), Tombeza (1984), Paris Dakar (Written in collaboration with Leila Sebbar and others) (1987), L'Honneur de la tribu (1989), La Ceinture de l'ogresse (1990), Le Printemps n'en sera que plus beau (1990), De la barbarie en general et de l'integrisme en particulier (1993), La Malediction (1993). Books by Rachid Mimouni in French---English Translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Aissa Khelladi is a journalist, novelist, playwright and poet who has lived in France since 1994. He has published books on the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, plays, poetry and several novels, most notably Peurs et Mensonges and Rose d'abime, both of which deal insightfully and unflinchingly with the situation in contemporary Algeria. His writing is intense and gripping and often very innovative in its style. Khelladi is also the director of the important new review Algerie Litterature / Action. Books by Aissa Khelladi in French

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Abdelkader Djemai is a novelist and journalist who was born in Oran in 1948. He was obliged to leave Algeria in 1993. His books include Une ete de cendres, a recit which tells the story of a dispossessed and haunted man who lives in his office after losing his wife and falling out of favor with his superior. It is a personal narrative which gives a glimpse into how one mans deals with the chaos in Algeria today. Other titles by Djema� include Saison de pierres and Memoires de n*gre. Books by Abdelkader Djema� in French

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Malika Mokeddem is also trained as a physician. She was born in 1949 in the Algerian desert and was the eldest of ten children. In 1966 she left Algeria to study medicine in France where she now lives. Her first novel was written while she was practicing medicine in an office she opened in the immigrant quarters of Paris. She is a prize winning author of three novels foreground the situation of Algerian. women. Le siecle des sauterelles is set in the first half of this century, and L'Interdite deals with the rise of fundamentalism. Books by Malika Mokeddem in French---English Translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Merzak Allouache is, of course, best known as a film maker. His most famous film, Bab El Oued City, tells the story of a a poor neighborhood in urban Algiers and the rise of Islamic militancy. The novel Bab El-Oued was written to exorcise frustrations that arose during the making of the film. Books by Merzak Allouache in French---English Translations

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!


Frantz Fanon (1925-1961)

French psychiatrist and revolutionary writer, whose writings had profound influence on the radical movements in the 1960s in the United States and Europe. As a political thinker born in Martinique, Fanon's views also gained audience in the Caribbean islands along with Aime Cesaire, Edouard Glissant, C.L.R. James, and Eric Williams. Fanon rejected the concept of "Negritude"- a term first used by Cesaire - and stated that persons' status depends on their economical and social position. Fanon believed that violent revolution is the only means of ending colonial repression and cultural trauma in the Third World.

"I have no wish to be the victim of the Fraud of a black world. My life should not be devoted to drawing up the balance sheet of Negro values. There is no white world, there is no white ethic, any more than there is a white intelligence. There are in every part of the world men who search. I am not a prisoner of history. I should not seek there for the meaning of my destiny. I should constantly remind myself that the real leap consists in introduction invention into existence. In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself." (Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks, 1952)

Frantz Fanon studied medicine and psychiatry in France after serving in the World War II. Seared as a youth by racism, and influenced by Sartre's existentialism, Fanon analysed the impact of colonialism and its deforming effects. From an 'European intellectual' Fanon gradually transformed to polemic scholar and socialist to revolutionary. His first major work, BLACK SKIN, WHITE MASKS (1952), had a major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and black consciousness movements around the world. Fanon argued that white colonialism imposed an existentially false and degrading existence upon its black victims to the extent that it demanded their conformity to its distorted values. He demonstates how the problem of race, of color, connects with a whole range of words and images, starting from the symbol of the dark side of the soul. "Is not whiteness in symbols always ascribed in French to Justice, Truth, Virginity?" Fanon examines race prejudices as a philosopher and psychologist although he acknowledges social and economic realities. The tone of the text varies from outrage to cool analysis and its poetic grace has not lost anything from its appeal.

In 1952 Fanon began to practice in a psychiatric ward in Algeria. He married in 1953 and was appointed director of the psychiatric department of Blida-Joinville's hospital. After three years he resigned and allied himself with the Algerian liberation movement that sought to throw off French rule. Fanon travelled guerrilla camps from Mali to Sahara, hid terrorist at his home and trained nurses to dress wounds. In 1959 he was severely wounded on the border of Algeria and Morocco. Fanon then worked briefly as an ambassador of the provisional Algerian government to Ghana and edited in Tunisia the magazine Moudjahid.

Fanon survived several political murder attempts, but finally he was taken of leukemia and died in Washington, DC, on December 12, 1961. In the same year appeared The Wretched of the Earth, which was based on his horrific experiences in Algeria during its war of independence. Using Marxist framework, Fanon explores the class collision and questions of cultural hegemony in the creation and maintenance of a new country's national consciousness. "In guerrilla war the struggle no longer concerns the place where you are, but the places where you are going. Each fighter carries his warring country between his toes." The book became one of the central documents of the black liberation movement. Fanon did not accept the view that the Communist party leads the revolution like Mao, but he believed that the revolutionary party grows from the struggle. Fanon's other publications include Dying Colonialism, originally published as Year Five of the Algerian Revolution, in which he calls for armed struggle against the French imperialism.

Top of Form | African Literature Index | African Writers Index | E-mail us!

Pays

Algeria . Angola . Benin . Botswana . Cameroun .Congo, Kinshasa . Congo, Brazzaville . Djibouti . Egypt . Ethiopia . Ghana . Guinea . Ivory Coast . Kenya . Madagascar . Morocco . Mozambique . Mali . Nigeria . Rwanda . Senegal . South Africa . Sudan . Tanzania . Uganda . Zambia . Zimbabwe .


    This page was created by AWI inc. Copyright 2000-2007 African Writers Index. All Rights Reserved.

    Suggest a site, contribute to the Index: africanwriters@yahoo.co.uk

    This page has had, visits since June 2000.

1