42 books like Algerian Women and Diasporic Experience

By Latefa Narriman Guemar,

Here are 42 books that Algerian Women and Diasporic Experience fans have personally recommended if you like Algerian Women and Diasporic Experience. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of A History of Algeria

Jessica Ayesha Northey Author Of Civil Society in Algeria: Activism, Identity and the Democratic Process

From my list on understanding the importance of Algerian History.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved Algeria since I lived there for 3 years from 2007. The experiences of the 20th century, particularly the War of Independence, make Algeria such an important country. The anti-colonial War overturned an entrenched colonialism, not only in Algeria, but set in train a movement for freedom across an entire continent. I have written extensively on the growth of civil society associations and how these helped people recover from tragedies; and more recently, the developments that sprung from the Algerian Hirak of 2019. This saw millions of protesters march peacefully, for over a year, to bring about significant changes and new understandings of citizenship in the 21st century.

Jessica's book list on understanding the importance of Algerian History

Jessica Ayesha Northey Why did Jessica love this book?

James McDougall’s History of Algeria gives an excellent overview of Algerian history, focusing on the lived experiences of the Algerian people over the last 500 years.

He does this with an easily readable style, offering acute insights and drawing on the personal experiences of those who lived through world-changing movements. He covers the War of Independence and the revolutionary transformations which ensued in Algeria, and across the continent, by that long and heroic struggle.

By James McDougall,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A History of Algeria as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Covering a period of five hundred years, from the arrival of the Ottomans to the aftermath of the Arab uprisings, James McDougall presents an expansive new account of the modern history of Africa's largest country. Drawing on substantial new scholarship and over a decade of research, McDougall places Algerian society at the centre of the story, tracing the continuities and the resilience of Algeria's people and their cultures through the dramatic changes and crises that have marked the country. Whether examining the emergence of the Ottoman viceroyalty in the early modern Mediterranean, the 130 years of French colonial rule and…


Book cover of Our Fighting Sisters: Nation, Memory and Gender in Algeria, 1954-2012

Jessica Ayesha Northey Author Of Civil Society in Algeria: Activism, Identity and the Democratic Process

From my list on understanding the importance of Algerian History.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved Algeria since I lived there for 3 years from 2007. The experiences of the 20th century, particularly the War of Independence, make Algeria such an important country. The anti-colonial War overturned an entrenched colonialism, not only in Algeria, but set in train a movement for freedom across an entire continent. I have written extensively on the growth of civil society associations and how these helped people recover from tragedies; and more recently, the developments that sprung from the Algerian Hirak of 2019. This saw millions of protesters march peacefully, for over a year, to bring about significant changes and new understandings of citizenship in the 21st century.

Jessica's book list on understanding the importance of Algerian History

Jessica Ayesha Northey Why did Jessica love this book?

Our Fighting Sisters is a wonderful, inspiring, and stylishly written book, drawing on in-depth interviews with celebrated women fighters from the liberation struggle in Algeria.

It is one of the first books to fully engage with the experiences of women who lived through the struggles of the Independence War. It documents the roles women played, both as intellectuals and combatants, in overturning the brutal colonial rule, thus liberating Algeria and in many ways, the African continent.

It still has implications for the future of resistance movements in Algeria and beyond. 

By Natalya Vince,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Fighting Sisters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Between 1954 and 1962, Algerian women played a major role in the struggle to end French rule in one of the twentieth century's most violent wars of decolonisation. This is the first in-depth exploration of what happened to these women after independence in 1962. Based on new oral history interviews with women who participated in the war in a wide range of roles, from urban bombers to members of the rural guerrilla support network, it explores how female veterans viewed the post-independence state and its multiple discourses on 'the Algerian woman' in the fifty years following 1962. It also examines…


Book cover of Algerian White

Jessica Ayesha Northey Author Of Civil Society in Algeria: Activism, Identity and the Democratic Process

From my list on understanding the importance of Algerian History.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved Algeria since I lived there for 3 years from 2007. The experiences of the 20th century, particularly the War of Independence, make Algeria such an important country. The anti-colonial War overturned an entrenched colonialism, not only in Algeria, but set in train a movement for freedom across an entire continent. I have written extensively on the growth of civil society associations and how these helped people recover from tragedies; and more recently, the developments that sprung from the Algerian Hirak of 2019. This saw millions of protesters march peacefully, for over a year, to bring about significant changes and new understandings of citizenship in the 21st century.

Jessica's book list on understanding the importance of Algerian History

Jessica Ayesha Northey Why did Jessica love this book?

One of Algeria’s greatest writers, Assia Djebar, deserves far greater recognition in the English-speaking world.

Her book, Algerian White, gives a painful account of the loss of three important Algerian intellectuals, against the backdrop of the Black Decade, and offers an eloquent and moving account of Algeria’s trauma of the 1990s.

Her analysis of Algerian society, culture, and language offers us a powerful reflection on the difficulties of nation-building and identity, in the post-colonial period and in challenging times.  

By Assia Djebar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Algerian White as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Algerian White, Assia Djebar weaves a tapestry of the epic and bloody ongoing struggle in her country between Islamic fundamentalism and the post-colonial civil society. Many Algerian writers and intellectuals have died tragically and violently since the 1956 struggle for independence. They include three beloved friends of Djebar: Mahfoud Boucebi, a psychiatrist; M'Hamed Boukhobza, a sociologist; and Abdelkader Alloula, a dramatist; as well as Albert Camus. In Algerian White, Djebar finds a way to meld the personal and the political by describing in intimate detail the final days and hours of these and other Algerian men and women, many…


Book cover of Algiers, Third World Capital: Freedom Fighters, Revolutionaries, Black Panthers

Jessica Ayesha Northey Author Of Civil Society in Algeria: Activism, Identity and the Democratic Process

From my list on understanding the importance of Algerian History.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved Algeria since I lived there for 3 years from 2007. The experiences of the 20th century, particularly the War of Independence, make Algeria such an important country. The anti-colonial War overturned an entrenched colonialism, not only in Algeria, but set in train a movement for freedom across an entire continent. I have written extensively on the growth of civil society associations and how these helped people recover from tragedies; and more recently, the developments that sprung from the Algerian Hirak of 2019. This saw millions of protesters march peacefully, for over a year, to bring about significant changes and new understandings of citizenship in the 21st century.

Jessica's book list on understanding the importance of Algerian History

Jessica Ayesha Northey Why did Jessica love this book?

Elaine Mokhtefi’s exceptional memoirs, document her life, moving from the US to France, then Algeria, to participate in the Algerian liberation struggle and then in post-independence Algeria.

They are as inspiring as they are exciting. Her story and personal connections with the Black Panther movement’s exiles, give fascinating insights into Algiers as the capital, the Mecca, for revolutionaries of the 1960s and 1970s.

This is an optimistic, but not uncritical, account, which shows the potential of recent Algerian history, to teach us about courage, resilience, and our collective struggles for democracy and justice. 

By Elaine Mokhtefi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Algiers, Third World Capital as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mokhtefi (nee Klein), a Jewish American from Long Island, has had an exhilarating life. In the 1960s, she served as a press adviser to the National Liberation Front in postwar Algiers, before going to work with Eldridge Cleaver, who was wanted in the US for his role in a deadly shoot-out with Oakland police. Half a century later, as an eighty-nine-year-old painter living on the Upper West Side, Mokhtefi still seasons her prose with the argot of revolution.


Book cover of Journal, 1955-1962: Reflections on the French-Algerian War

Martin Evans Author Of Algeria: France's Undeclared War

From my list on the Algerian War from an Algerian perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by Algeria ever since I first visited the country in the summer of 1982, visiting cities in the north, Algiers and Oran, and then crossing over the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert. This encounter never left me, so it was quite natural that when I started a PhD I was drawn to Algerian history. My books seek to both put Algerians centre-stage through their creativity expressed in music, food, poetry, writings and humour and to connect them to wider global histories. I'm co-curating a Cultures of Resistance Festival in Dublin which will bring together Algerian and Irish creatives to reflect upon their common resistance cultures.

Martin's book list on the Algerian War from an Algerian perspective

Martin Evans Why did Martin 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…

By Mouloud Feraoun, James D. Le Sueur, Mary Ellen Wolf (translator) , Claude Fouillade (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Journal, 1955-1962 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This honest man, this good man, this man who never did wrong to anyone, who devoted his life to the public good, and who was one of the greatest writers in Algeria, has been murdered. . . . Not by accident, not by mistake, but called by his name and killed with preference." So wrote Germaine Tillion in Le Monde shortly after Mouloud Feraoun's assassination by a right wing French terrorist group, the Organisation Armee Secrete, just three days before the official cease-fire ended Algeria's eight-year battle for independence from France.

However, not even the gunmen of the OAS could…


Book cover of A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962

Joel Struthers Author Of Appel: A Canadian in the French Foreign Legion

From my list on life in the French Foreign Legion.

Why am I passionate about this?

One has to learn about France's Military history to understand the Legion. I served in her ranks, and my efforts are to help educate those interested in facts. That is why I wrote the book Appel: A Canadian in the French Foreign Legion and continue to laisse with the Legion to try and help increase recruitment.

Joel's book list on life in the French Foreign Legion

Joel Struthers Why did Joel love this book?

Not a book that covers the legion directly but the war in Algeria is a big part of the Legions history, and notably the Legion’s 2e régiment étranger de parachutistes. The Algerian War lasted from 1954 to 1962. It came close to provoking a civil war on French soil. For those interested in the Putsch, then get into this book. More than a million Muslim Algerians died in the conflict and many European settlers were driven into exile. Above all, the war was marked by the unholy marriage of revolutionary terror, and repressive torture. 

By Alistair Horne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Savage War of Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Algerian War lasted from 1954 to 1962. It brought down six French governments, led to the collapse of the Fourth Republic, returned de Gaulle to power, and came close to provoking a civil war on French soil. More than a million Muslim Algerians died in the conflict and as many European settlers were driven into exile. Above all, the war was marked by an unholy marriage of revolutionary terror and repressive torture.

Nearly a half century has passed since this savagely fought war ended in Algeria’s independence, and yet—as Alistair Horne argues in his new preface to his now-classic…


Book cover of A Dying Colonialism

Martin Evans Author Of Algeria: France's Undeclared War

From my list on the Algerian War from an Algerian perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by Algeria ever since I first visited the country in the summer of 1982, visiting cities in the north, Algiers and Oran, and then crossing over the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert. This encounter never left me, so it was quite natural that when I started a PhD I was drawn to Algerian history. My books seek to both put Algerians centre-stage through their creativity expressed in music, food, poetry, writings and humour and to connect them to wider global histories. I'm co-curating a Cultures of Resistance Festival in Dublin which will bring together Algerian and Irish creatives to reflect upon their common resistance cultures.

Martin's book list on the Algerian War from an Algerian perspective

Martin Evans Why did Martin love this book?

Psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, Frantz Fanon is born in Martinique in 1925 and comes to work in French Algeria in 1953 as a doctor in a hospital in Blida, just south of Algiers. Angry at the way in which treatment of Algerian patients is shot through with institutionalised racism, Fanon resigns his post in 1956 and joins the FLN in Tunisia. Working as a journalist, his writings are a piercing attack on French colonialism which feed directly into A Dying Colonialism. Published in 1959, the fifth year of the Algerian Revolution, each chapter analyses how the liberation struggle is transforming Algerian society at every level, from attitudes to technology and medicine through to the role of women—perspectives that decisively frame Gillo Pontecorvo’s depiction of the Algerian War in his 1966 cinematic masterpiece Battle of Algiers

Fanon dies of cancer two years later, shortly before independence, but this book, translated…

By Frantz Fanon, Haakon Chevalier (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Dying Colonialism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Frantz Fanon's seminal work on anticolonialism and the fifth year of the Algerian Revolution.

Psychiatrist, humanist, revolutionary, Frantz Fanon was one of the great political analysts of our time, the author of such seminal works of modern revolutionary theory as The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks. He has had a profound impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world.

A Dying Colonialism is Fanon's incisive and illuminating account of how, during the Algerian Revolution, the people of Algeria changed centuries-old cultural patterns and embraced certain ancient cultural practices long derided by their…


Book cover of I Was a French Muslim: Memories of an Algerian Freedom Fighter

Martin Evans Author Of Algeria: France's Undeclared War

From my list on the Algerian War from an Algerian perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by Algeria ever since I first visited the country in the summer of 1982, visiting cities in the north, Algiers and Oran, and then crossing over the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert. This encounter never left me, so it was quite natural that when I started a PhD I was drawn to Algerian history. My books seek to both put Algerians centre-stage through their creativity expressed in music, food, poetry, writings and humour and to connect them to wider global histories. I'm co-curating a Cultures of Resistance Festival in Dublin which will bring together Algerian and Irish creatives to reflect upon their common resistance cultures.

Martin's book list on the Algerian War from an Algerian perspective

Martin Evans Why did Martin love this book?

This is a powerful memoir. First published in French in 2016, one year after Mokhtar Mokhtefi’s death, it is an eyewitness account of twentieth-century Algeria, tracing his political journey from a poor village south of Algiers, through to the French secondary education, one of the few Muslims to do so, and his eventual engagement in the FLN in 1957. Graphically portraying the anger and disaffection that drives Algerians to rebel against French rule, the book is equally unsparing about the divisions and authoritarianism which riddle the National Liberation Front and shape post-independence Algeria. Beautifully translated by his widow, the writer and anti-imperialist activist Elaine Mokhtefi. 

By Mokhtar Mokhtefi, Elaine Mokhtefi (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Was a French Muslim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

GQ: Best of Modern Middle Eastern Literature 

This engaging memoir provides a vivid account of a childhood under French colonization and a life dedicated to fighting for the freedom and dignity of the Algerian people.

The son of a butcher and the youngest of six siblings, Mokhtar Mokhtefi was born in 1935 and grew up in a village de colonisation roughly one hundred kilometers south of the capital of Algiers. Thanks to the efforts of a supportive teacher, he became the only child in the family to progress to high school, attending a French lycée that deepened his belief in…


Book cover of Women of Algiers in Their Apartment

Martin Evans Author Of Algeria: France's Undeclared War

From my list on the Algerian War from an Algerian perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by Algeria ever since I first visited the country in the summer of 1982, visiting cities in the north, Algiers and Oran, and then crossing over the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert. This encounter never left me, so it was quite natural that when I started a PhD I was drawn to Algerian history. My books seek to both put Algerians centre-stage through their creativity expressed in music, food, poetry, writings and humour and to connect them to wider global histories. I'm co-curating a Cultures of Resistance Festival in Dublin which will bring together Algerian and Irish creatives to reflect upon their common resistance cultures.

Martin's book list on the Algerian War from an Algerian perspective

Martin Evans Why did Martin love this book?

This is not only a beautifully written book, it is an important one. Why? Because it poses challenging questions about the promise of post-independence freedom for Algerian women through a collection of short stories written between 1959 and 1978. First published in French in 1980, the writing style is at once innovative, lyrical, and unsettling as Assia Djebar explores the condition of Algerian women across the pre-colonial, colonial and immediate post-colonial periods. The inspiration for the book is Eugène Delacroix’s 1834 painting of women in an Algerian harem because, as Djebar explains in the post-face, this picture leads her straight to the conundrum of 1970s Algeria: “What would Delacroix see if he entered into contemporary Algerian apartments?” And for her the depressing conclusion is that he would still find women locked up and shut away just as in the 1830s. One of the most significant voices to emerge from Algeria,…

By Assia Djebar, Marjolijn de Jager (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women of Algiers in Their Apartment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The cloth edition of Assia Djebar's Women of Algiers in Their Apartment, her first work to be published in English, was named by the American Literary Translators Association as an ALTA Outstanding Translation of the Year. Now available in paperback, this collection of three long stories, three short ones, and a theoretical postface by one of North Africa's leading writers depicts the plight of urban Algerian women who have thrown off the shackles of colonialism only to face a postcolonial regime that denies and subjugates them even as it celebrates the liberation of men. Denounced in Algeria for its political…


Book cover of Inside the Battle of Algiers: Memoir of a Woman Freedom Fighter

Martin Evans Author Of Algeria: France's Undeclared War

From my list on the Algerian War from an Algerian perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by Algeria ever since I first visited the country in the summer of 1982, visiting cities in the north, Algiers and Oran, and then crossing over the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert. This encounter never left me, so it was quite natural that when I started a PhD I was drawn to Algerian history. My books seek to both put Algerians centre-stage through their creativity expressed in music, food, poetry, writings and humour and to connect them to wider global histories. I'm co-curating a Cultures of Resistance Festival in Dublin which will bring together Algerian and Irish creatives to reflect upon their common resistance cultures.

Martin's book list on the Algerian War from an Algerian perspective

Martin Evans Why did Martin love this book?

This is an astonishing memoir, told by one of the women bombers, Zohra Drif, so memorably portrayed in Gillo Pontecorvo’s film Battle of Algiers. A retrospective account, first published in French in 2013 to great acclaim and great controversy, Drif explains her motivations in clear and direct prose. She traces why and how she becomes a member of the National Liberation Front, willing to go to the most extreme lengths to liberate her country from colonial oppression. As such this memoir is full of telling historical details, not least in terms of the daily drip-drip violence of settler colonialism and the huge mirror violence this engendered. More specifically, this memoir provides us with a remarkable insight into the thoughts and emotions of the Battle of Algiers in 1956 and 1957, when small tightly organised groups of FLN fighters confronted the French paratroopers in the Casbah of Algiers: a key…

By Zohra Drif, Andrew G. Farrand (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inside the Battle of Algiers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This gripping insider's account chronicles how and why a young woman in 1950s Algiers joined the armed wing of Algeria's national liberation movement to combat her country's French occupiers. When the movement's leaders turned to Drif and her female colleagues to conduct attacks in retaliation for French aggression against the local population, they leapt at the chance. Their actions were later portrayed in Gillo Pontecorvo's famed film The Battle of Algiers. When first published in French in 2013, this intimate memoir was met with great acclaim and no small amount of controversy. It is essential reading for anyone seeking to…


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