The Art of Losing

The Art of Losing Book Cover
"Ms. Zeniter’s extraordinary achievement is to transform a complicated conflict into a compelling family chronicle, rich in visual detail and lustrous in language. Her storytelling, splendidly translated by Frank Wynne, carries the reader through different generations, cities, cultures, and mindsets without breaking its spell... With The Art of Losing, Ms. Zeniter shows fiction’s power as a hedge against loss of the past: the art of regaining." ―Liesl Schillinger, The Wall Street Journal

Prix Renaudot-winning author Alice Zeniter’s newest book to be translated into English ‘The Art of Losing’ (L’Art de Perdre), translated from the French by Frank Wynne, is a sweeping, intergenerational exploration of the ongoing tensions between Algeria and its former colonizer France. 

Though the book begins and ends centered on a modern-day woman named NaÏma, large swaths of the narrative follow her grandfather Ali and her father Hamid through their lives in mid-century Algeria to their tenuous assimilation as refugees in France.

The publication of ‘The Art of Losing‘ in English comes at a time during which France appears to be reckoning with its complex history with Algeria, shown not only by diplomatic gestures from the French government, as described in a recent Economist article, but also by recent French media, such as the comedy television series ‘A Very Secret Service’ (Au service de la France). Zeniter’s novel is a needed contribution to the dialogue, offering a perspective on the immigrant experience and specifically of the plight of Harki’s and their descendants.

Read the full review at My French Life

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