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Tahar Ben Jelloun

Tahar Ben Jelloun
الطاهر بن جلون
Born (1944-12-01) 1 December 1944
Fes, Morocco
Occupation Novelist, poet
Language French
Nationality Moroccan
Alma mater Mohammed V University
Period 1973–present
Notable works The Sand Child
This Blinding Absence of Light
Notable awards Grand Officer, Legion of Honour (2008)
Prix Goncourt (1987)
Prix Ulysse (2005)

Tahar Ben Jelloun (Arabic: الطاهر بن جلون‎; born in Fes, French 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 and continues to write. He has been named as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature.[1]


  • Early life and career 1
  • Writing career 2
  • Selected works 3
  • References and notes 4
  • External links 5

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. 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 collection of 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 became a famous writer once his novel L’Enfant de Sable (translated as The Sand Child) was released in 1985. In 1987 he was awarded the Prix Goncourt for his novel La Nuit Sacrée (The Sacred Night). He was the first Maghreb author to receive the award.

His 1996 novel Les raisins de la galère (Eng. The Fruits of Hard Work) reflects his ideas of racism and the traditional ideals of women in Muslim and Islamic subcultures. The protagonist, Nadia (a Maghreb woman), "fights for gender equality in the local authority and in her private life".

In 2004, Ben Jelloun was awarded the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Cette aveuglante absence de lumière (This Blinding Absence of Light). He received the Prix Ulysse in 2005 for the entirety 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.[2] On 1 February 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy awarded him the Cross of Grand Officer of the Légion d'honneur.

Selected works

References and notes

  1. ^
  2. ^

External links

  • Rawafed: documentary interview Tahar Ben Jelloun "part one".
  • Rawafed: documentary interview Tahar Ben Jelloun "part two".
  • Homepage of Tahar Ben Jelloun
  • Ma'duba / Invitation à l'adab- "Dialogue interculturel et complaisance esthétique dans l'oeuvre de Tahar Ben Jelloun", Par Salah NATIJ, in website , Le Premier Amour est Toujours le Dernier moha le fou, moha le sage.
  • "The Rising of the Ashes"Tahar Ben Jelloun's , City Lights.
  • "Tahar Ben Jelloun Art Review: The Roots of Times", Morocco Newsline, 15 December 2009.
  • - The Comfortable Way to Take Part in a RevolutionThe Arab SpringTahar Ben Jelloun:
  • Ruth Schneider, "'“Democracy is not like an aspirin you dissolve in water'" (interview), Exberliner Magazine, 17 October 2011
  • "Tahar Ben Jelloun (France)", Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin.
  • Nicoletta Pireddu, "A Moroccan Tale of an Outlandish Europe: Ben Jelloun's Departure for a Double Exile," Research in African Literatures, 40 (3), Fall 2009: 16-36 [1]
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