Waciny Laredj

Waciny Laredj

Waciny Laredj, an eminent Algerian novelist, short story writer, and academic, was born on August 8, 1954. His journey as a scholar and writer both in his native Algeria and abroad. Laredj was born in Sidi Bou Jnan, located in the Tlemcen province of Algeria. He embarked on his academic journey at the University of Algiers, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts. Following this, he pursued higher education in Syria, supported by a government scholarship. There, he attained both his Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the University of Damascus.

Laredj returned to Algeria to begin his academic career, securing a position at his alma mater, the University of Algiers. He served there until 1994 when the outbreak of the civil war in Algeria compelled him to leave his homeland. Laredj briefly stayed in Tunisia before relocating to France. In France, he joined the faculty of the Université Paris III-New Sorbonne as a professor of Arabic literature.

Laredj’s literary career is marked by his contributions to Arabic and French literature. He began publishing in the early 1980s and has since authored over a dozen books. His works often reflect the complex history of Algeria, weaving narratives that explore the country’s turbulent past. Laredj has translated some of his works into French, with a few of his books published in French before their Arabic.

A Literary Odyssey Spanning Novels, Anthologies, and International Recognition

In addition to his novels, Laredj, along with his wife Zineb Laouedj, an accomplished poet, compiled an anthology on African literature in French titled “Anthologie de la nouvelle narration africaine.” His engagement with literature extends beyond writing; he has produced literary programs for Algerian television and contributed a regular column to the Algerian newspaper El Watan.

Laredj’s contributions to literature have been recognized through several awards and honors. In 2007, he won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature for “The Prince’s Book: The Paths of the Wooden Gates.” He was longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2011 for “The Andalusian House” and again in 2014 for “Ashes of the East.” In 2015, he won the inaugural grand prize of the Katara Prize for Arabic Novel, valued at $260,000, for his work “Butterfly Kingdom.”

Laredj’s personal life is intertwined with literature; he is married to Zineb Laouedj, and together they have two children. His notable works include “The Blue Gate” (1980), “Facts from the Sufferings of a Man Who Ventured Toward the Sea” (1981), “The Sound of the Rough Shoes” (1981), “What Remains from the Biography of Lakhdar Hamrush” (1982), “Almond Blossoms” (1983), and “The Death of Tender Maryam’s Dreams” (1984). His later works, such as “The Mirrors of the Blind Man” (1998), “The Eastern Manuscript” (2002), and “Casanova’s Women” (2016), further establish his reputation as a leading figure in Arabic literature. Through his extensive body of work, Laredj has become a pivotal figure in both the Arabic and French literary worlds, offering profound insights into the Algerian experience and the broader Arab cultural landscape.

Books Written by Waciny Laredj