Leila Sebbar
Leïla Sebbar is an Algerian author, born on 9 November 1941 to the daughter of a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 mother and an Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

n father. She spent her youth in colonial Algeria but now lives in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. She writes in French about the relationship between France and Algeria and often juxtaposes the imagery of both countries to show the difference in cultures between the two.

Sebbar deals with a variety of topics, and either adopts a purely fictional approach or uses psychology to make her point. Many of Sebbar's novels express the frustrations of the Beur, the second generation of Maghribi youth who were born and raised in France and who have not yet integrated into French society. Her book Parle mon fils, parle à ta mère (1984; Talk my son, talk to your mother), illustrates the absence of dialogue between two generations who do not speak the same language.

The novel tells the story of the final day of a dying man who came from Algeria to France as a young man seeking work. It depicts the story of his youth and shows his viewpoint on the Muslim society and the "3 witches". The reader comes to realise that the man in the story is not fearful of those "witches" but just of dying alone, without another Muslim by his side to read to him the prayer of the dead.

Sebbar never actually names her characters to keep a sense of anonymity and mysteriousness and it could be said that it does not restrict the story to one personal account but it could relate to anyone and shows the very common viewpoint of those seeking asylum.

General references

  • Merini, R. (1999). Two major Francophone women writers, Assia Djébar and Leila Sebbar: a thematic study of their works. Francophone cultures and literatures, v. 5. New York: P. Lang. ISBN 9780820426358
  • Engelking, T. L. (2007). Sherazade at the Museum: A Visual Approach to Teaching Leila Sebbar's Novel. FRENCH REVIEW -CHAMPAIGN-. 80 (3), 620-635.
  • Parekh, P. N., & Jagne, S. F. (1998). Postcolonial African writers: a bio-bibliographical critical sourcebook. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

See also

Leïla Sebbar
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