The Seine Was Red

The Seine Was Red

Paris, October 1961
Leïla Sebbar. Translated by Mildred Mortimer
Distribution: World
Publication date: 8/11/2008
Format: paper 144 pages
5.5 x 8.5
ISBN: 978-0-253-22023-3
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Description

Leïla Sebbar's novel recounts an event in French history that has been hidden for many years. Toward the end of the Algerian war, the FLN, an Algerian nationalist party, organized a demonstration in Paris to oppose a curfew imposed upon Algerians in France. About 30,000 Algerians gathered peacefully, but the protest was brutally suppressed by the Paris police. Between 50 and 200 Algerians were killed and their bodies were thrown into the Seine. This incident provides the background for a more intimate look into the history of violence between France and Algeria. Following three young protagonists—one French, one Algerian, and one French national of Algerian descent—Sebbar takes readers on a journey of discovery and comprehension. Mildred Mortimer's impressive translation conveys the power of Sebbar's words in English and allows English-speaking readers an opportunity to understand the complex relationship between past and present, metropole and colony, immigrant and citizen, that lies at the heart of this acclaimed novel.

Author Bio

Leïla Sebbar is one of the French-speaking world's most important writers. Her novels include Shérazade, Marguerite, La jeune fille au balcon, and Soldats. She was born in Algeria and lives in Paris, France.

Mildred Mortimer is Professor of French at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She has translated Leïla Sebbar's
Le Silence des Rives/Silence on the Shores and has written several works on North African literature, including Maghrebian Mosaic: A Literature in Transition and Journeys through the French African Novel. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Reviews

"This novel raises profound and timely questions about the nature of democracy, Muslim-Western relations, memory, history, and forgetting. Mildred Mortimer's masterful translation is a pleasure to read." —Anne Donadey, author of Recasting Postcolonialism

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Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Unearthing Hidden History by Mildred Mortimer

Nanterre. Amel. October 1996
Paris
Flora and Mina
Louis. Rue de La Santé
Nanterre. Amel and Omer
The Mother
October 1961
The Owner of the Atlas Café
Nanterre. Amel and Omer
The Mother
October 1961
Papon's Harki
Flora
Louis
Défense. Amel and Omer
The Mother
October 1961
The Algerian Rescued from the Water
République. Amel and Omer
October 1961
The Owner of the Goutte d'Or Café. Barbès
Flora
Louis
Flora
Louis
Place de la Concorde. Amel and Omer
The Mother
October 1961
The French Lover
Louis
Bonne Nouvelle. Amel and Omer
October 30, 1961
The French Student
Flora
Saint-Michel. Amel and Omer
The Mother
October 17, 1961
The Bookseller of Rue Saint-Séverin
Louis
Orly. Amel and Omer
The Mother
October 1961
The Cop at Clichy
Louis
Alexandria. Amel and Omer. Louis

Notes
Bibliography
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