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…