Shantytown Kid available in Paperback
One day an illiterate Algerian immigrant in Lyon gave his son, Azouz Begag, a book, saying, “This book is a bird.” How Begag took flight on the wings of learning is one of the stories that unfolds in this captivating autobiographical novel of growing up amid the multicultural complexities of contemporary France.
Determined to leave behind the poverty of his shantytown life, Begag works to become a star pupil at the local primary school—earning the jealousy and rejection of his Arab playmates even as he contends with the anti-Arab racism of his French peers. Begag’s moving and often comical account of negotiating a path between the competing cultural spaces encountered during his childhood is a compelling tale of coming of age in a world of ethnic and racial tensions. A story for all ages, it is also very much of the moment, offering unique insights into the reweaving of the social fabric of France in response to growing ethnic diversity.
|Publisher:||UNP - Bison Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Azouz Begag, widely acclaimed as both a novelist and a researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), was appointed France’s first minister for equal opportunities and was the nation’s first cabinet minister of North African immigrant origin in 2005. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the sociopolitical essay Ethnicity and Equality: France in the Balance, available in a Bison Books edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This autobiographical book, although not what I would consider great, was very interesting. The author was born in Lyon, France, to Algerian immigrant parents, and grew up in a shantytown at the edge of the city, at the edge of the French culture, and basically at the edge of existence. A constant balancing act is the essence of his existence, and this for a man who went on to become the first cabinet minister in France of Algerian-immigrant heritage. A quick, interesting read.