Algerian-born, Moslem raised, Paris-educated, Assia Djebar has been writing for close to a half-century, accumulating a considerable body of works. She has tackled all genres: poetry, plays, short-stories, novels and essays. In her books Djebar has explored the struggle for social emancipation and the Muslim woman's world in its complexities. Several of her works deal with the impact of the war on women's mind. She has written, directed, and edited her own films, winning the Biennale prize at the 1979 Venice Film Festival with her very first attempt, La Nouba des Femmes du Mont Chenoua (The nouba or "ritual" festival of the Women of Mt. Chenoua). She has staged her own plays and both translated and directed the plays of others (Amiri Baraka’s, for example). In 2000, she authored an operatic libretto, "Filles d’Ismaël dans le vent et la tempête" (Daughters of Ishmael, through wind and storm). Based on her 1991 narrative on the life of the Prophet, Far from Medina, this oratorio was performed to excellent reviews in Rome and at the Palermo Arts Festival. A second version, in classical Arabic this time, is commissioned for future performance in Holland. Djebar is considered to be one of North Africa's most famous and influential writers, and was elected to the Académie française on June 16, 2005, the first writer from the Maghreb to achieve such recognition.
She has won the following awards: Peace Prize of Frankfurt Book Fair (2000); International Prize
of Palmi (Italy); Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for Literature (Boston, MA); International Literary Neustadt Prize (1996); International Critics Prize, Biennale of Venice, for the film "La nouba des femmes du Mont Chenoua." (09/09)
La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua
A film by Assia Djebar, 1977, 115 min., Color
Finally available in the United States, this classic film from acclaimed novelist and filmmaker Assia Djebar is essential viewing for an understandin...