Assia Djebar



Assia Djebar won the prestigious Neustadt Prize for Contribution to World Literature in 1996 for perceptively crossing borders of culture, language, and history in her fiction and poetry (previous winners include Max Frisch, Francis Ponge, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and the Yourcenar Prize in 1997.

She is a novelist, scholar, poet and filmmaker who won the Venice Biennale Critics Prize in 1979. She writes in French and her books have been translated into many different languages.

Algerian with Berber roots, Djebar was educated in France and in her homeland. She is currently Director of the Centre for French and Francophone Studies at Louisiana State University. She lives in Paris and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

So Vast the Prison explores the condition of women in Islam and is set against the epic history of Algeria.


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