An Algerian Childhood
Une Enfance singulière is a novel about a young girl’s Algerian childhood and upbringing by her untraditional grandmother, Djedda. It is a story of gradual awakening from the warm and affectionate dream of childhood, in the place she called home, to an awareness of what life will actually be like for her as a woman in her world. She realizes that her grandmother, a pillar of support in the community, is the exception rather than the rule: the women of Algeria are oppressed, poor, and do not have access to the most basic health services. Interspersed among her childhood anecdotes are present-day adult experiences as a successful biology professor in Paris. It is there, ironically, that she learns about the world of men: their warmth, their violence, their anxieties and their desperation.
Fadéla M’Rabet : Widely considered to be the first Algerian feminist, Fadéla M’Rabet is the author of two previous novels, La Femme algérienne (Maspéro, 1967) and Les Algériennes (1965), both of which denounce the condition of women in Algeria. A Ph.D in biology, she is a former conference director and physician of the Broussais-Hôtel-Dieu hospitals in Paris.