France, Story of a Childhood

Written by Zahia Rahmani | Translated by Lara Vergnaud | Yale University Press | May 24, 2016

This moving tale of imprisonment and escape, persecution and loss, is narrated by the daughter of an alleged Harki, an Algerian soldier who fought for the French during the Algerian War for Independence. It was the fate of such men to be twice exiled, first in their homeland after the war, and later in France, where fleeing Harki families sought refuge but instead faced contempt, discrimination, and exclusion. 

Zahia Rahmani blends reality and imagination in her writing, offering a fictionalized version of her own family’s struggle. Lara Vergnaud’s beautiful translation from the French perfectly captures the voices and emotions of Rahmani’s childhood in a foreign land. While the author delves deeply into the past, she also indicts present-day France and Algeria. From the unique perspective of the daughter of an accused Harki, she examines France’s complex and controversial history with its former colony and offers new insight into the French civil riots of 2005. She makes a stirring plea for understanding between generations and cultures, and especially for an end to the destructive practice of condemning children for their fathers’ actions and beliefs.

More information is available on the publisher's website.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

The Flirt Formula

The poems go two by two across facing pages, where they press against each other, connect, and go forth in a tremulous manifesto. The result is a syntactical vertigo poised above nothingness. The halves meet only in an instant, suggesting that the crux of poetry is the art of not quite touching.
new titles

The Gift

This moving fictional memoir begins as a woman heads home after a meeting regarding her inheritance. Rebeling against the legalese uttered by the attorney, her mind drifts back to her childhood and she sees her life with sudden clarity. On the train, she jots down a few notes, which prompt the poetic outpouring of memory and emotion that make up this delicate novel.
new titles

Savage Seasons

Kettly Mars’s "Savage Seasons" describes a pivotal and painful period in Haitian history by weaving together two stories: the personal story of Nirvah and her family and the universal story of Duvalier’s dictatorial regime and its abuses.
1/3
MORE IN books
authors on tour

Marie-Hélène/Sam Bourcier

November 5-17, 2016
US Tour
authors on tour

Pap Ndiaye

November 4-13, 2016
East Coast
authors on tour

Vinciane Despret

October 29-November 8, 2016
US Tour
authors on tour

Antoine Volodine

October 11-18, 2016
West Coast
event

Reconstructing Comix

October 8, 2016 | 7pm
Cooper Union
Frederick P. Rose Auditorium 41 Cooper Square, New York