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Maghrebian Mosaic: A Literature in Transition

Mildred Mortimer, editor
Maghrebian Mosaic: A Literature in Transition
ISBN: 978-089410-888-4
2000/325 pages/LC: 00-032856

"We are lucky to have this valuable contribution to a long-neglected area of literary study."—Beverly B. Mack, African Studies Review

"Mortimer is to be congratulated for this excellent collection of essays.... A useful mosaic assessment of the present state of North African francophone literature."—Mary Anne Harsh, Research in African Literature

"Maghrebian Mosaic will not only introduce readers to a number of established and emerging francophone Maghribi writers, but also provide them with a wide-ranging overview of current movements in the study of francophone Maghribi literature."—Suzanne Gauch, North African Studies


Albert Memmi published the first anthology of francophone Maghrebian literature, he expressed his unhappy belief that francophone writing would quickly be eclipsed by Arabic. To the contrary, this volume demonstrates that the francophone writing of North Africa remains vibrant and prolific.

Two distinct periods are evident in contemporary Maghrebian letters, producing the anticolonial works appearing prior to independence and the subsequent critiques of postcolonial society. This collection examines themes common to both periods: identity, conflicts between tradition and modernity, women's place in society, and the lives of North African immigrants living in France. Throughout, the uneasy and ambiguous relationship between the Maghrebian writer and the French language is evident, as is the ongoing political nature of North African literature.


Mildred Mortimer is professor emeritus of French at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her numerous publications include Journeys Through the French African Novel.


  • Introduction—M. Mortimer.
  • Inscribing a Maghrebian Identity in French—F. Abu-Haidar.
  • Translation and the Interlingual Text in the Novels of Rachid Boudjedra—R. Serrano.
  • Modernity through Tradition in the Contemporary Algerian Novel: Elements Toward a Global Reflection—G. Carjuzaa.
  • Rewriting Identity and History: The Sliding Barre(s) in Ben Jelloun's The Sacred NightM. Hamil.
  • Rescripting Modernity: Abdelkebir Khatibi and the Archeology of Signs—L. Stone McNeece.
  • Mohammed Dib and Albert Camus's Encounters with the Algerian Landscape—F. Ahmad.
  • The Maghreb of the Mind in Mustapha Tlili, Brick Oussaid, and Malika Mokeddem—L. Rice.
  • The Absence of the Self: Tahar Ben Jelloun's La Prière de l'absentL. Ibnlfassi.
  • Voices of Resistance in Contemporary Algerian Women's Writing—S. Ireland.
  • Reappropriating the Gaze in Assia Djebar's Fiction and Film—M. Mortimer.
  • Hélé Béji's Gaze—S. Lee.
  • Tunisian Women Novelists and Postmodern Tunis—M. Naudin.
  • Family, History, and Cultural Identity in the Beur Novel—D. McConnell.
  • Decentering Language Structures in Akli Tadjer's Les A.N.I. du TassiliM. Manopoulos.
  • Storytelling on the Run in Leïla Sebbar's ShérazadeJ-L. Hippolyte.
  • Afterword—M. Mortimer.