For more than fifty years, Assia Djebar, former Silver Chair of French at New York University and winner of the Neustadt Prize for Contribution to World Literature, used the tools of poetry, fiction, drama and film to vividly portray the world of Muslim women in all its complexity. In the process, she became one of the most important figures in North African literature. In Assia Djebar, Jane Hiddleston traces Djebar’s development as a writer against the backdrop of North Africa’s tumultuous history. Whereas Djebar’s early writings were largely an attempt to delineate clearly the experience of being a woman, an intellectual, and an Algerian embedded in that often violent history, she had in her more recent work evinced a growing sense that the influence of French culture on Algerian letters may make such a project impossible. The first book-length study of this significant writer, Assia Djebar will be of tremendous interest to anyone studying post-colonial literature, women’s studies or Francophone culture in general.
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