Yasmina Khadra in March 2010
10 January 1955 |
Kénadsa, (Béchar Province), Algeria
|Notable works||Morituri, The Swallows of Kabul, The Attack, and What the Day owes the Night|
Yasmina Khadra (Arabic: ياسمينة خضراء, literally meaning "green jasmine") is the pen name of the Algerian author Mohammed Moulessehoul (Arabic: محمد مولسهول, born January 10, 1955, in Kénadsa, Béchar Province, Algeria).
Moulessehoul, an officer in the Algerian army, adopted his wife's name as a pseudonym to avoid military censorship. Despite the publication of many successful novels in Algeria, Moulessehoul only revealed his true identity in 2001 after leaving the army and going to France. He left the army as a major in 2000. Anonymity was the only way for him to survive and avoid censorship during the Algerian Civil War. In 2004, Newsweek acclaimed him as "one of the rare writers capable of giving a meaning to the violence in Algeria today."
His novel set in Afghanistan under the Taliban, The Swallows of Kabul, was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (2006), as was The Attack (2008). L'Attentat won the Prix des libraires in 2006, a prize chosen by about five thousand bookstores in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada.
In an interview with the German radio station SWR1 in 2006, Khadra said “The West interprets the world as it likes. It develops certain theories that fit into its world outlook, but do not always represent the reality. Being a Muslim, I suggest a new perspective on Afghanistan, on religious fanaticism and what I would call religiopathy. My novel The Swallows of Kabul gives readers in the West a chance to understand the core of a problem that they usually only touch on the surface. Because fanaticism is a threat for all, I contribute to the understanding of its causes and backgrounds. Perhaps then it will be possible to find a way to bring it under control.”
Yasmina Khadra became director of the Algerian Cultural Center in Paris in November 2007.
On November 2, 2013 Khadra announced his candidacy for the presidency of Algeria.
- "Best Book of 2005" by the San Francisco Chronicle and The Christian Science Monitor
- Prix des libraires in 2006, a prize chosen by about five thousand bookstores in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada
- Grand prix de Littérature Henri Gal by the French Academy in 2011
- Morituri (1997, 1999). Book One Superintendent Llob Series. (éditions Baleine - Le Seuil, 1997, 1999.) Second English language Edition 2004. The Toby Press LLC.
- Double Blank (1997, 1999), translated by Aubrey Botsford. Book Two Superintendent Llob Series. Originally published as Double blanc (éditions Baleine - Le Seuil, 1997, 1999, Instantanés de Polar, 1997). First English language Edition 2005. The Toby Press LLC.
- Autumn of the Phantoms, translated by Aubrey Botsford. Book Three Superintendent Llob Series. Originally published as L'Automne des Chimères. English language Edition 2006. The Toby Press LLC.
- Dead Man's Share translated by Aubrey Botsford. Book Four Superintendent Llob Series. Originally published as La part du mort (éditions Julliard, 2004). English language edition 2009. The Toby Press LLC.
- Les Agneaux du Seigneur (1998)
- Wolf Dreams, Book Three of an Algerian trilogy
- L'Imposture des mots (2002)
- The Swallows of Kabul, translated by John Cullen
- Cousine (2003)
- The Attack, translated by John Cullen
- The Sirens of Baghdad translated by John Cullen
- What the Day Owes the Night translated by Frank Wynne (2010)
- Cousin K translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith, Alyson Waters, Robert Polito
- L'Équation africaine, 2012
- Les anges meurent de nos blessures, 2013
- Qu'attendent les singes, 2014
- Two Men in Town (2014)
- New York Journal of Books reviewer Steve Emmet wrote "Cousin K may be a small book but it is a giant of a literary work."
- Publishers Weekly wrote "while the novella feels fractional, offering only piecemeal glimpses of the protagonists, it is atmospheric and the writing is tense and lyrical."
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