"After every interview, I feel that I have visited Algeria from my house in Oxford."
"Dalimen Editions really want to widen comic books’ readership. We want to strip away this image of comix as books for children. We have albums aimed at young readers, of course, but we have others for adults because comic books speak to everyone and are accessible to all."
Judges today announced the winner of the 2020 International Prize for Arabic Fiction -- Abdelouahab Aissaoui's The Spartan Court, the first Algerian novel to win the prize -- in a ceremony that took place entirely online.
In addition to being "mad," she was also very clever, and could compose rhyming poetry off the top of her head. She was also a tragic figure in that her mental illness set in after the death of many members of her family during the war, and she was forced to raise her four children on her own.
"A few days ago, I attended the Kuwait Book Fair, and saw that all Arab countries were there, represented by more than one publisher, except Algeria, and this is because of backward laws."
"When the war began in Sarajevo I was a child. I was in southern Algeria then. We sang songs in school about the children of Sarajevo, and we saw pictures of what was happening there on TV."
"So, to make up for lost time, I took out the doors and I painted them on the balcony. To make sure they would dry, I left them there and went to sleep, until I was awakened by my four-year-old son who was in a panic and was screaming that all the doors had disappeared. It is the horror I saw in his eyes and in the eyes of my wife that the idea of writing about a city with no doors grew in my mind."
"Here, everyone I meet greets me. Good morning. Sir. Welcome. At your service. Everyone here is polite to the point of disgust."
The novel was inspired, in part, by a 2018 workshop organized by me and Cherifa Kheddar, Director of the NGO Djazairouna, where we brought together survivors of the Algerian Civil war with writers, artists, psychologists, filmmakers and journalists. The objective was to translate first-hand testimonies into different media, including literature.
Above our heads a vertical shadow vibrates a shadow that flaps above our heads
From state crimes and political murders to family feuds and petty crime, with investigations conducted by professionals or the uninitiated, Algerian crime writers have produced some the most entertaining stories I have read -- and are certainly the most vibrant in the Algerian literary corpus.
This year, two IWP residents come from neighboring Maghrebi nations.