Tahar Ben Jelloun

Tahar Ben Jelloun
Tahar Ben Jelloun (2013)
Tahar Ben Jelloun (2013)
Native name
الطاهر بن جلون
Born (1944-12-01) 1 December 1944 (age 74)
Fes, French protectorate in Morocco
OccupationNovelist, poet
Alma materMohammed V University
Notable worksThe Sand Child
This Blinding Absence of Light
Notable awardsLegion Honneur GO ribbon.svg Grand Officer, Legion of Honour (2008)
Prix Goncourt (1987)
Prix Ulysse (2005)

Tahar Ben Jelloun (Arabic: الطاهر بن جلون‎; born in Fes, French protectorate in Morocco, 1 December 1944) is a Moroccan writer. The entirety of his work is written in French, although his first language is Arabic. He became known for his 1985 novel L’Enfant de Sable (The Sand Child). Today he lives in Paris, France, and continues to write. He has been short-listed for the Nobel Prize in Literature.[1]

Early life and career

Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in Morocco in December 1944. As a child, he attended an Arabic-French bilingual elementary school. He then studied in the Lycée Regnault in Tangier, Morocco, until he was 18 years old. He studied philosophy at Mohammed V University in Rabat.

After having been a philosophy professor in Morocco, he joined the group who ran the literary magazine Souffles in the mid-1960s, and he wrote many pieces for the cultural magazine. He later participated in the student rebellion against "the repressive and violent acts" of the Moroccan police. In 1966, he was then forced into military camp as his punishment.

Five years later, his first poems were published in Hommes sous linceul de silence (1971). Shortly thereafter he moved to Paris, France, and in 1972 began writing for Le Monde. He received his doctorate in social psychiatry in 1975.

Writing career

Ben Jelloun's 1985 novel L’Enfant de Sable (translated as The Sand Child) brought widespread attention. In 1987 he received the Prix Goncourt for his novel La Nuit Sacrée (The Sacred Night), making him the first Maghreb author to receive the award.

His 1996 novel Les raisins de la galère (Eng. The Fruits of Hard Work) is a reflection on racism and traditional Muslim ideas about women's place. The protagonist, Nadia (a young French women of Algerian origin), fights racism and exclusion to find her place in French society.

In 1993 he received the journalistic award Golden Doves for Peace issued by the Italian Research Center Archivio Disarmo.[2] Ben Jelloun was awarded the International Dublin Literary Award for Cette aveuglante absence de lumière (This Blinding Absence of Light) in 2004. In 2005 he received the Prix Ulysse for his entire body of his work.

In September 2006, Ben Jelloun was awarded a special prize for "peace and friendship between people" at the Lazio between Europe and the Mediterranean Festival.[3] On 1 February 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy awarded him the Cross of Grand Officer of the Légion d'honneur.

In Africa, his novel Le mariage de plaisir was shortlisted for the GPLA 2016 (Belles-Lettres Category).[4]

Selected works

References and notes

  1. ^ Shusha Guppy, "Tahar Ben Jelloun, The Art of Fiction No. 159" (interview), The Paris Review, Issue 152, Fall 1999.
  2. ^ "The Journalism Prize 'Archivio Disarmo Golden Doves For Peace'", Archivio Disarmo.
  3. ^ "Italy Lazio cultural festival awards Moroccan author". Morocco Times. Archived from the original on 25 November 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2006.
  4. ^ GPLA 2016 Shortlist: "Grand Prix of Literary Associations 2016: D-day Coming Closer", Bella Naija, 2 March 2017.

External links

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