Dr. Assia Djebar
Known for Being
The first writer from the Maghreb to be elected to the Académie française.
A famous Algerian novelist, translator, and filmmaker.
Dr. Assia Djebar, born Fatma-Zohra Imalhayène, was an Algerian writer and filmmaker whose novels, written in French, most often focus on women and their role in Algerian society. Djebar received her PhD in 1999 at the Paul Valéry University of Montpellier III. Her career as a novelist began in 1957 with the publication of her first novel, La Soif. It was followed by Les Impatients (1958), which similarly dealt with young women within the colonial Algerian bourgeois milieu.
Djebar spent most of the war years outside Algeria, but afterward she taught history at the University of Algiers, was made department head of the French Section at the university, and became a filmmaker. Her movie Nouba des Femmes du Mont Chenoua, the story of an Algerian woman engineer returning to Algeria after a long Western exile, was released in 1978. Femmes d’Alger dans leur Appartement (1980) is a collection of novellas and short stories calling attention to the lingering disparities between the treatment of men and women following the decolonization of Algeria. Djebar moved to the United States in 1995 and taught French literature at Louisiana State University and then at New York University. In 2005 Djebar was elected to the Académie Française.
Last modified: 01/09/2019