About the BookFrance, Story of a Childhood is an evocative novel that blends fiction and memories from the author’s childhood. The story retells the difficulties and frustration of a young Muslim girl in rural France in the 1970’s. The author draws inspiration from an emotional exile from Algeria followed by an unwelcome reception in France, detailing the struggles of adjusting to a new life abroad. Rahmani's novel is the product of a stylistic exercise, where the time of the narration mirrors the duration of the reader's journey through the text. Fervently written following the 2005 riots in France, the book allowed the author to dive deeply into her past while indicting present-day France and Algeria.
About the AuthorThe Algerian-born academic and author Zahia Rahmani is one of France’s leading art historians and writers of fiction, memoirs, and cultural criticism. She is the author of Moze, "Musulman" and France, Récit d'une enfance. The French Ministry of Culture named her Chevalier of Arts and Letters and as a member of the College of the Diversity. As an art historian, Rahmani is Director of the Research Program on Art and Globalization at the French National Institute of the History of Art (INHA). Her research project at the INHA culminated in Made in Algeria: Genealogy of a Territory, a book and current exhibition of colonial cartography, high and popular visual culture, and contemporary art at the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM), located in Marseille. Zahia Rahmani is currently a visiting professor at NYU Gallatin Faculty.
About the Moderator
Maria Koundoura is the author of two books and many essays on national and transnational identities. Trained as a British and postcolonial literature scholar at Stanford, she is Professor of Literature and Chair of the Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department at Emerson College.
About the Boston Book Festival
Since 2009, the Boston Book Festival celebrates the power of words to stimulate, agitate, unite, delight, and inspire by holding year-round events culminating in an annual, free Festival that promotes a culture of reading and ideas and enhances the vibrancy of Boston.
About the Cultural Services at the French Embassy
The French Cultural Services provide a platform for exchange and innovation between French and American artists, intellectuals, educators, students, the tech community, and the general public. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the US, the Cultural Services develop the cultural economy by focusing on six principal fields of action: the arts, literature, cinema, the digital sphere, French language and higher education.