100 books like Women of Algiers in Their Apartment

By Assia Djebar, Marjolijn de Jager (translator),

Here are 100 books that Women of Algiers in Their Apartment fans have personally recommended if you like Women of Algiers in Their Apartment. 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 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 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 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…


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 The Nomad: Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt

Louisa Waugh Author Of Hearing Birds Fly: A Nomadic Year in Mongolia

From my list on the intimate lives of landscapes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Louisa Waugh is a writer, blogger, and the prize-winning author of three non-fiction books: Hearing Birds Fly, Selling Olga, and Meet Me in Gaza. She has lived and worked in the Middle East, Central and West Africa, and is a conflict adviser for an international peace-building organisation. She blogs at The Waugh Zone and currently lives in Brighton, on the southern English coast, where she kayaks and drinks red wine on the beach, usually not at the same time.

Louisa's book list on the intimate lives of landscapes

Louisa Waugh Why did Louisa love this book?

Isabelle Eberhardt was born in 1877. She was “a crossdresser and sensualist, an experienced drug taker and a transgressor of boundaries”. Born in Switzerland, she crossed the Sahara Desert on horseback dressed as a male marabout, driven by a hunger for nomadic adventures, and for love. Isabelle’s evocative diaries are intense, beautifully written, self-centred and dramatic, occasionally very funny. She fell madly in love with the Sahara, was accused of being a spy, married a young Algerian soldier, and drowned in a desert flash flood at the age of 27. This book is about a short life that burned radiantly and the desiccated landscape that mirrored her intensity.

By Isabelle Eberhardt,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Nomad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eberhardt's journal chronicles the daring adventures of a late 19th-century European woman who traveled the Sahara desert disguised as an Arab man and adopted Islam. Includes a glossary. Previously published in English by Virago Press in 1987, and as The Passionate Nomad by Virago/Beacon Press in 19


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 Algerian Women and Diasporic Experience: From the Black Decade to the Hirak

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?

Latefa Guemar’s powerful research on the Algerian Diaspora from a woman’s perspective shows to the world the terrible experiences of violence against women in the Algerian Black Decade of the 1990s.

This harrowing conflict forced women into exile via a broken European asylum system that failed, and still fails, women in so many ways.  Her work on diasporic networks of women’s groups and associations, inspired work we recently did together during Covid on Algeria diaspora activism.

The book’s beautiful and mesmerizing front cover, designed by one of our students, Ikram, was part of our arts-based training on Imagining the Future. I still get shivers when I see this.

By Latefa Narriman Guemar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book uses the narratives of women who fled Algeria in the 1990s-known as the 'Black Decade'-to offer a more intimate understanding of the violence women face in times of conflict. It details their struggle for independence, and for freedom from the violence directed against them as women, as well as revealing the obstacles they encounter when seeking gender-appropriate international protection. Chapters also investigate these women's life experiences beyond Algeria, and the professional and cultural networks they form. Such networks play an important role in enabling the female diaspora to maintain relationships with Algeria and to engage in political discussion…


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 Confessions

Francesco Orsi Author Of The Guise of the Good: A Philosophical History

From my list on whether humans pursue the good and avoid the bad.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a philosopher based in Tartu, Estonia. In my work I’ve always been interested in value and value judgments, and how value gets us to act, sometimes, though by no means always. But only recently have I become puzzled by what happens when value motivates us the wrong way, as when we are drawn to something (an action, an event) for its badness, not for its goodness. And that’s how I gradually uncovered the fascinating, centuries-long philosophical (and sometimes literary) history narrated in my book and partially represented in the booklist. 

Francesco's book list on whether humans pursue the good and avoid the bad

Francesco Orsi Why did Francesco love this book?

Like for Aristotle, this is no easy read, but Augustine must be credited with planting in the clearest and most dramatic way the central doubt: cannot we want and do something merely for the sake of the evil or wrong we would commit?

His story of the pear theft is bound to leave an impression on anyone, regardless of one’s religious background. Later Christian philosophers will try to get around Augustine’s doubts, with more or less success.

By Augustine, Thomas Williams (translator),

Why should I read it?

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


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…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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