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Children of the New World: A Novel of the Algerian War (Women Writing the Middle East) Paperback – October 1, 2005

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1558615106 ISBN-10: 1558615105

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Death begins and ends Djebar's moving, mesmerizing account of the Algerian war of independence. Using the interaction of several characters over the course of a single day in a small mountain town, Djebar shows how the fight against French colonialism pitted woman against man and "brother against brother." "Overt violence is the only policy that pays off in this country," one character muses; another moves in and out of consciousness after 14 days of police torture. Emotional violence proves just as shocking as physical brutality, as when 29-year-old Cherifa must overcome Islamic tradition in order to protect her husband, Youssef, from their neighbor, the policeman Hakim. But as Hakim conducts his investigation into Youssef's participation in a "secret organization," he starts to question the way his job has alienated him from the Arab community and from his wife. Djebar (So Vast the Prison) broadens the stories of "the revolution, the liberation struggle" to honor the "many drowning women whose destiny had been taken away forever" and to critique blind adherence to any ideology. The anticolonial, feminist novel, published in France in 1961 but only recently translated into English, loudly reverberates in today's politically charged social climate. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A long-exiled Algerian writer of conscience, Djebar is revered for her lyrical, psychologically illuminating, and politically courageous fiction, poetry, and essays about Muslim women forced to live cruelly circumscribed lives, Algeria's brutal war for independence from France, and questions of autonomy and freedom both personal and political. Djebar was 26 when this novel, her third, was published in French in 1962. Now translated, and beautifully so, for the first time into English, it 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. Set in the besieged Algerian town of Blida and presenting the divergent points of view of a constellation of men and women connected to a woman killed by a bomb, it charts the rise of the resistance movement as interrogations lead to torture and relationships of all kinds are put to the severest of tests. Sadly, all the conflicts, injustice, and bloodshed that Djebar so acutely depicted 40 years ago continue to destroy spirits and lives. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Women Writing the Middle East
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558615105
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558615106
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
More than a half-century after it was published, when its extraordinary author was only 26 years-old, this novel is as urgent and as timely as if it were written yesterday. Portraying the Algerian resistance to the French occupiers from a woman's perspective and from the ground up, this novel shines a harsh light on both the past and present sources of the Arab conflict with the West. Particularly in light of the Algerian roots of the Charlie Hebdo attackers in Paris.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Roded on November 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
Assia Djebar's third novel is a transition to a work that served the Algerian nationalist cause but retained her romantic tone. The Afterward by Clarisse Zimra including interview with Djebar is invaluable.

Ruth Roded
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marcin on January 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I honestly found the storyline confusing and difficult to follow. This is probably because Djebar's method of characterisation is so different from that used in modern English literature - a combination of the elliptical and straightforwardly descriptive; and that combines with unfamiliar names and a general lack of dialogue, and frequently action, to demand a lot of the English reader. Indeed, the novel is shot through with the spirit of "tell don't show".

Where this novel works is not so much in its form as a novel, but rather in its vignettes and incidents which reveal the characters' inner lives and motivations. The "tell don't show" format works well, and speaks directly to the reader unfamiliar with the society of 1947 Algeria.
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By Paula on March 18, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Wade on March 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting book. Sometimes incoherent, but overall an enlightening experience. This book gives great insight into what it was like to live in Algeria during the revolution there. The cultural aspects are also quite fascinating. It's not a "quick, fun read," but it does make you think as it challenges your perceptions.
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