Thursday, 26 May 2016

African literatures in Algeria - Barzakh and Apic editions

Two Algerian publishers are very active in bringing literatures from African authors to Algerian bookshops. Barzakh editions and Apic editions throughout their respective collections ‘Lands in Solidarity’ and ‘Resonances’ do this. What is it that they do exactly and why ? Here's part of the answer in this article :

Résonances was born in October 2007 during Algiers’ International book fair [SILA], on the occasion of which we published three titles La fête des masques  [The Masks’ Party] by Sami Tchak, La géographie du danger [The Geography of Fear] by Hamid Skif and Ma planète me monte à la tête  [My planet is going to my head] by Anouar Benmalek. This collection gathers texts by African authors published outside of the continent and to whom we wanted to give visibility in Algeria, to circumvent literary borders. That’s how texts by Rabah Belamri (Algeria), Habib Tengour (Algeria), Louis Philipe Dalembert (Haïti), Tierno Monénmebo (Guinea), Yambo Ouologuem (Mali), Tanella Boni (Ivory Coast), Patrice Nganang (Cameroon), Jean-Luc Rharimanana (Madagascar) and Gabriel Mwènè Okoundji (Republic of the Congo) found themselves in Résonances.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Wahran El Bahia, Algerian writer Abdelkader Djemaï and a life almost true

Abdelkader Djemaï is an Algerian author with several novels and essays to his name. Seuil editions in France have just published his new novel Abbot Lambert's (almost) true life, a biography retracing the life of the 33rd mayor of Wahran who was in post during colonialisation between 13 May 1934 and 18 July 1942.

Here is my review of his novel on HuffPost Algérie, in French.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Butcher of Guelma - a novel by Francis Zamponi

Today, commemorations in Guelma, Setif and Kerrata (Algeria), and their surrounding area are taking place. 8 May 1945 has another significance in Algeria. On that day, and for about a month, the French colonial authorities and civilians took it upon themselves to massacre the Algerian population, men women and children, to punish a group of Algerians who had gone out to celebrate the end of the second world war - a struggle in which Algerians participated as soldiers for the allies - and who marched bearing the Algerian flag, asking for the same right to freedom as these nations. 

Francis Zamponi, a French-Algerian writer, was one of the first to net a historical novel around these massacres against the Algerian population. While creating a work of fiction, Zamponi has helped bringing to the fore key historical elements and facts to the public knowledge.

Here is my review of his novel for HuffPost Algerie in French The Butcher of Guelma, one of the first novels that has retraced the events of 8 May 1945.