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Children of the New World

Assia Djebar Translated by Marjolijn de Jager Afterword by Clarisse Zimra

Publication Year: 2006

Assia Djebar portrays Algeria’s protracted anti-colonial struggle against France through the interlocking lives of men and women in an Algerian mountain town. Written in 1961, one year before Algerian independence, the novel depicts the ways the war transforms the women’s lives and draws them from the private world of the home into the public world of revolution, fighting for their community’s liberation. The book describes a determined Arab insurgency against foreign occupation from the inside out.

Published by: The Feminist Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. xi

Translator's Note

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pp. ix

Characters in Order of Appearance

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pp. xi

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1. Cherifa

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pp. 1-16

In the old Arab quarter at the foot of the mountain the whitewashed houses all look alike. Before the city grew larger, this was the only place where affluent families would come to find a bit of cool air, near the brooks and orchards...

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2. Lila

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pp. 17-43

How long had she been living on the top floor of this empty building that stood by the side of the road? Lila couldn’t say. She didn’t question it; why count the days? It might have been before dawn today or yesterday at daybreak...

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3. Salima

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pp. 45-69

Having hosed down the courtyard and abandoning in the kitchen the meal to be prepared, Cherifa sat down in her room with the twins beside her as the spectacle began, as if it were an enormous circus watched by a female audience of the old quarter. That same...

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4. Touma

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pp. 71-94

“Suzanne, it’s you, of course.”
Lila lets her friend in. Suzanne immediately notices the bare walls, the sparse furniture.
“It’s almost cold here.”
Lila doesn’t answer...

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5. Hakim

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pp. 95-116

Hakim hoped in vain that for the rest of the day he’d be able to immerse himself in the paperwork that with Chief Jean’s tacit approval has been his refuge for the past several months. Right now, however, Jean looks distracted...

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6. Hassiba

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pp. 117-136

Twice a day the Micheline, the railcar that was the pride of the town when it was first put into service a few years before, comes in from the capital. It arrives in the afternoon, at one o’clock and then at seven, and instead of stopping at the station...

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7. Khaled

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pp. 137-159

“Not so loud,” the other boy says and begins to walk again, beret on his head, hands in his pockets. At the bottom of the boulevard, he gives Bachir his instructions: no question of his joining a cell...

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8. Bob

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pp. 161-179

The operation on the mountain is not yet over when the jobless, who are killing time on the benches in the square above the rue du Bey, are the first to see the tribe of the Beni Mihoub advancing in a mute...

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9. Ali

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pp. 181-199

“You know Khaled?” Bachir said irritably in front of Lila’s door. “I don’t particularly like him.” “He is . . . I think he’s sincere,” Lila pouted. She made a gesture with her hand as if to drive away a thought. She turned to Bachir...

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pp. 201-233

On July 1, 1962, Algerians were casting their ballots in a referendum to establish the nation’s independence from France, throwing off a colonizer’s yoke that had lasted one hundred and thirty-two years. The previous...

E-ISBN-13: 9781558616387
Print-ISBN-13: 9781558615106

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2006