Children of the New World: A Novel of the Algerian War (Women Writing the Middle East)

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9781558615113: Children of the New World: A Novel of the Algerian War (Women Writing the Middle East)

Assia Djebar, the most distinguished woman writer to emerge from the Arab world—and a top candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature—wrote Children of the New World following her own involvement in the Algerian resistance to colonial French rule. This long-overdue first English translation coincides with the 50th anniversary of the start of the Algerian war and with the growing insurgency in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East.

Like the classic film The Battle of Algiers—enjoying renewed interest in the face of world events—Djebar’s novel sheds light on current world conflicts as it reveals a determined Arab insurgency against foreign occupation, from the inside out.

However, Djebar focuses on the experiences of women drawn into the politics of resistance. Her novel recounts the interlocking lives of women in a rural Algerian town who find themselves joined in solidarity and empower each other to engage in the fight for independence. Narrating the resistance movement from a variety of perspectives—from those of traditional wives to liberated students to political organizers—Djebar powerfully depicts the circumstances that drive oppressed communities to violence and at the same time movingly reveals the tragic costs of war.

Renowned writer and filmmaker Assia Djebar has authored several novels, including the critically lauded So Vast the Prison and Algerian White. She has won several awards for her work, including the prestigious International Neustadt Prize for Literature. Born and raised in Algeria, Djebar is currently the Silver Chair of French at New York University.

Marjolijn de Jager, PhD, is the translator of Djebar’s Algerian White and Women of Algiers in Their Apartment, which was honored by the American Literary Translators Association. She teaches at the Center for Foreign Languages and Translation at New York University.

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About the Author:

Internationally renowned Algerian writer Assia Djebar has won numerous literary awards, and is considered a strong candidate for the next Nobel Prize for Literature. In her 40-year writing career, Djebar has authored more than 20 books of fiction, poetry, and essay, and scripted and directed plays and films. She is now Professor of French and Francophone studies at NYU.

Review:

"The third novel by the Algerian writer Assia Djebar was published in France in 1962, but Marjolijn de Jager's lovely translation is its first appearance in English. . . Djebar's point of view is feminist and anti-colonial, but her novel is no propaganda piece."
The New York Times Book Review

"Djebar is an impasssioned advocate of Algerian and female liberation, and this much-admired book (previously untranslated into English). . . [Children of the New World] is a painstakingly braided tapestry that richly deserves its high reputation as is explained in informative . . . detail in scholar Clarissa Zimra's otherwise worthy afterword. . . Reading this replete, stirring novel, one can understand why."
Kirkus Reviews

"Now translated, and beautifully so, for the first time into English, Children of the New World embodies Djebar's refined literary sensibility, empathy for people caught in times of violent change, and penetrating insights into the complex and painful difficulties between men and women."
Booklist

"In [Djebar's] widely honored work, she explores Muslim women's struggle for social emancipation and their world in all its complexities. She is a lucid critic of gender, history, and subjectivity in colonial and postcolonial contexts. . . Through the events of the day described in Children of the New World, a new order emerges from a jumble of perceptions a hopeful revolution that will create a nation of free souls. . . The social upheaval of the war pushes her characters, often for the first time in their lives, toward individual, instrumental and radical decisions. Djebar also explores the tensions between the singular and the collective that feminist struggle involves."
Women's Review of Books

"The third novel by the Algerian writer Assia Djebar was published in France in 1962, but Marjolijn de Jager's lovely translation is its first appearance in English. . . Djebar's point of view is feminist and anti-colonial, but her novel is no propaganda piece."
The New York Times Book Review

"Djebar is an impasssioned advocate of Algerian and female liberation, and this much-admired book (previously untranslated into English). . . [Children of the New World] is a painstakingly braided tapestry that richly deserves its high reputation―as is explained in informative . . . detail in scholar Clarissa Zimra's otherwise worthy afterword. . . Reading this replete, stirring novel, one can understand why."
Kirkus Reviews

"Now translated, and beautifully so, for the first time into English, Children of the New World embodies Djebar's refined literary sensibility, empathy for people caught in times of violent change, and penetrating insights into the complex and painful difficulties between men and women."
Booklist

"In [Djebar's] widely honored work, she explores Muslim women's struggle for social emancipation and their world in all its complexities. She is a lucid critic of gender, history, and subjectivity in colonial and postcolonial contexts. . . Through the events of the day described in Children of the New World, a new order emerges from a jumble of perceptions―a hopeful revolution that will create a nation of free souls. . . The social upheaval of the war pushes her characters, often for the first time in their lives, toward individual, instrumental and radical decisions. Djebar also explores the tensions between the singular and the collective that feminist struggle involves."
Women's Review of Books

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