ALGERIA: The Tongue’s Blood Does Not Run Dry by Assia Djebar

Assia Djebar is one of the most internationally celebrated authors from Algeria – her works have been extensively translated, and have covered both time and space from pre-Independence Algeria to a few years before her death in 2015, and moved between Algeria, France, and the US.

The Tongue’s Blood Does Not Run Dry is a fictionalization / poeticization of real women’s stories Djebar collected during the Algerian civil war in the 90s. Stylistically these vary – from fables based off 1001 Nights to poetry to a short novella that fluctuates between protagonists. The stories each carry the richness of the experiences of the women (and men) – teachers under threat, widows of activists, the children of French-Algerian marriages, families reuniting and falling apart. It’s an extremely powerful book that articulates real life emotions in a way that will hit you in the core.

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