Naïma has always known that her family came from Algeria – but up until now, that meant very little to her. Born and raised in France, her knowledge of that foreign country is limited to what she’s learned from her grandparents’ tiny flat in a crumbling French sink estate: the food cooked for her, the few precious things they brought with them when they fled. On the past, her family is silent. Why was her grandfather Ali forced to leave? Was he a harki – an Algerian who worked for and supported the French during the Algerian War of Independence? Once a wealthy landowner, how did he become an immigrant scratching a living in France?
Naïma’s father, Hamid, says he remembers nothing. A child when the family left, in France he re-made himself: education was his ticket out of the family home, the key to acceptance into French society.
But now, for the first time since they left, one of Ali’s family is going back. Naïma will see Algeria for herself, will ask the questions about her family’s history that, till now, have had no answers.
‘Remarkable… a novel about people that never loses its sense of humanity’ Sunday Times
‘Zeniter’s extraordinary achievement is to transform a complicated conflict into a compelling family chronicle’ Wall Street Journal
Alice’s participation in West Cork Literary Festival is supported by the Ambassade de France en Irlande / Embassy of France in Ireland
Alice Zeniter was born in 1986. She is the author of four novels; Sombre dimanche (Albin Michel, 2013) won the Prix du Livre Inter, the Prix des lecteurs de l’Express and the Prix de...Read More
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