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Biography

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Tahar Ben Jelloun, poet, novelist, playwright, essayist and journalist, was born in Fès (Morocco) in 1944.
He grew up in Tangiers, where he attended the French high school, later studying philosophy at the Mohammed V University in Rabat.

He discovered his penchant for poetry and made his literary debut at a young age: in 1968 he published his first poem, L'aube des dalles, for the literary magazine "Souffles", which at the time was an important mouthpiece for Morocco's young intellectuals.

In 1971 he moved to Paris, specializing in social psychiatry. His doctoral thesis describing the psycho-physical problems facing North-African workers in France formed the basis for two subsequent books: La réclusion solitaire (1976) and La plus haute des solitudes (1977).

In 1973, Ben Jelloun  published his first novel, Harrouda, which was followed by further works which underlined his skills as a refined and sensitive interpreter of the Mahgreb soul. These works included L'enfant de sable (1985), his first success with the public and the critics, and La nuit sacrée (1987), which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt.

His works – which are many and varied – go from vivid creative writing, poetic works with an evocative lyricism, and penetrating essays concerning social themes – have over the years confirmed Tahar Ben Jelloun as one of the most influential figures in contemporary literature and as an authoritative point of reference as regards the events and problems in Arab-Islamic life. Ben Jelloun is also very active as a freelance journalist, and he contributes to many of the world's major newspapers.

The author has won numerous prizes and awards. These include the Prix Goncourt, the Noureddine Aba, awarded in recognition of his works as a whole; the Global Tolerance Award, awarded by the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan; the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; the Premio por la Paz - Associación para las Naciones Unidas en España and many poetry prizes, several of which awarded in Italy.

 

WORKS PUBLISHED IN ITALY

Creatura di sabbia – Einaudi
L'estrema solitudine – Milvia; Mondolibri; Bompiani
Moha il folle, Moha il saggio – Edizioni Lavoro; Einaudi; Feltrinelli
Notte fatale – Einaudi
Giorno di silenzio a Tangeri – Einaudi
Le pareti della solitudine – Einaudi
La preghiera dell'assente – Edizioni Lavoro
Dalle ceneri – Il Melangolo
Dove lo Stato non c'è. Racconti italiani – Einaudi
Harrouda – Zanzibar; Giunti
Ospitalità francese – Teoria; Bookever
Lo scrivano – Einaudi
A occhi bassi – Einaudi
Corrotto – Bompiani
L'amicizia – Einaudi
L'ultimo amore è sempre il primo? – Bompiani
Nadia – CDE; Bompiani
Lo specchio delle falene – Einaudi
Dove lo stato non c’è – Einaudi
Rachid. Il bambino teledipendente – Stoppani
Il razzismo spiegato a mia figlia – Bompiani
Stelle velate. Poesie (1966-1995) – Einaudi
L'albergo dei poveri – Mondolibri; Einaudi
La scuola o la scarpa – Bompiani
L'Islam spiegato ai nostri figli – Bompiani
Il libro del buio – Einaudi
L'hammam – Einaudi
Jenin. Un campo palestinese – Bompiani
La bella addormentata. Una fiaba d'autore per parlare di razzismo ai nostri figli – Fabbri
Amori stregati. Passione, amicizia, tradimento – Bompiani
L'amicizia and l'ombra del tradimento – Einaudi
Delacroix al Marocco – Franco Maria Ricci
Il labirinto dei sentimenti – Pironti
Mia madre, la mia bambina – Einaudi
L'ultimo amico – Bompiani
Non capisco il mondo arabo. Dialogo tra due adolescenti – Bompiani
Partire – Bompiani
L'ha ucciso lei – Einaudi
Amo inventare storie. Dialogo con Tahar Ben Jelloun, con Marco Alloni – ADV Publishing House, 2008
Doppio esilio. Poesie – Edizioni del Leone
La via di uno soltanto. Visita fantasma dell'atelier di Giacometti – Scheiwiller
Marocco – Einaudi
L'uomo che amava troppo le donne – Bompiani
La rivoluzione dei gelsomini. Il risveglio della dignità araba – Bompiani
Incontro crudele – Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso
Fuoco – Bompiani

 

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