Articles by Suzanne Ruta

Naming the Arab: Kamel Daoud’s “Meursault, contre-enquête”

June 18, 2014

The Algerian novelist and journalist Kamel Daoud publishes a pithy, fast-paced critique of Algerian society five times a week in the French-language daily Quotidien d’Oran, and on Facebook. Readers value his insight, his poetry, his well-directed rage.  In 2010 a French reporter, in Oran to… more »

Articles by Suzanne Ruta

How “To Algeria, with Love” became “La Repubblica di Wally”

June 18, 2012

Einaudi bought the Italian rights to my novel before it had an English language publisher, editor, or even a title. Work on the translation began last summer, around the time the book was published in the UK by Virago as To Algeria, with Love. As luck would have it, my husband and I were in southern… more »

Articles by Suzanne Ruta

Celebrating International Mother Language Day

February 21, 2012

On February 2, 1952, during a peaceful demonstration to demand national status in East Pakistan for the Bengali language, four students were shot dead in the street. A postcolonial trauma that would lead to war and the creation of the nation of Bangladesh. In 1999 the General Conference of UNESCO proclaimed… more »

Articles by Suzanne Ruta

Mistral, One Hundred Years Ago

August 4, 2011

Image of Mistral, One Hundred Years Ago
My father-in-law, Walther Franke-Ruta, was born in 1890 in Leipzig, Germany, into a family of furriers and musicians. He became a poet, a prolific novelist, and a popular radio playwright and social satirist, although the satire, first to last, was  gentle, without acid or bitterness, as if the… more »

Articles by Suzanne Ruta

The Battle of Algiers

March 11, 2011

Saadi Yacef headed the Algerian rebel movement, the Front de Libération Nationale, in Algiers until his capture in summer 1957. Unlike his fellow combatants in the movement, murdered in captivity by the French military or blown up by French explosives in their Casbah hideouts or strangled by their… more »

Articles by Suzanne Ruta

An Algerian Lexicon

February 4, 2011

On February 3, smelling the smoke from Cairo, Algeria's aging President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, emerged from a long silence and promised an end to the state of emergency that has kept the country in political lockdown since 1992. The coalition of protest groups planning a nationwide "peaceful march… more »

Articles by Suzanne Ruta

In Memoriam: Abdellatif el Jaziri, 1969–2010

January 20, 2011

Abdellatif el Jaziri was a Moroccan from Fez with a fine Berber head (long and narrow, with a strong chin and prominent cheekbones) and an unflappable sense of humor.  Until recently, he taught Arabic in New York City. “Sometimes it seemed like half the city wanted him to teach them Arabic,”… more »