Assia Djebar was born 30 June 1936 and died 6 February 2015
- The word is a torch; to be held up in front of the wall of separation or withdrawal … Armed solely with the written word, our serious attention can never be distracted … And now I too seek out the rich vocabulary of love of my mother tongue …
- Love, if I managed to write it down, would approach a critical point: there where lies the risk of exhuming buried cities … But my sole ambition in writing is constantly to travel to fresh pastures and replenish my water skins with an inexhaustible silence.
- My father was a nobleman when he spoke his mother tongue, and a worker from the lowest class when he went over into French.
- Sometimes fear grips me that these fragile moments of life will fade away. It seems that I write against erasure.
- Writing in a foreign language – has brought me to the cries of the women silently rebelling in my youth, to my own true origins.
Assia Djebar was the pen name of Fatima-Zohra Imalayen, an Algerian novelist, translator and filmmaker. She is the author of Algerian White: A Narrative.