Why did I love this book?
This intensely personal diary conveys the savage day-to-day reality of this colonial conflict like no other and is a must-read for anyone interested in Algerian perspectives. By November 1954, the moment when the National Liberation Front (FLN) launches the armed national liberation struggle that will achieve independence eight years later, Mouloud Feraoun is already a very well-established novelist, writing while simultaneously working in the French education administration in French Algeria. Through his journal entries, therefore, he tries to make sense of the cycles of violence and counter-violence as they unfold around him which means that the diary is not a dry, detached account.
It is written in the very eye of the storm and brilliantly conveys how ordinary Algerians sought to navigate one of the most brutal episodes of the whole decolonsation process. Assassinated by a right-wing terrorist group, the Secret Army Organisation (OAS), just days before the official cease-fire ended the conflict on 18 March 1962, Feraoun’s journal was published shortly after in French. The single most important account of the everyday impact of the Algerian War.