Tahar Ben Jelloun
Tahar Ben Jelloun (b. 1944) is a Moroccan writer who writes in French, although his first language is Arabic. After working as a philosophy professor in Morocco, he joined the literary magazine Souffles in the mid-1960s. He later participated in the student rebellion against “the repressive and violent acts” of the Moroccan police. In 1966, he was then forced into military camp as his punishment. His 1985 novel L’Enfant de Sable (translated as The Sand Child) brought widespread attention. In 1987 he received the prestigious French Prix Goncourt for his novel La nuit sacrée (The Sacred Night, 1989), making him the first North African author to receive the award. He has received numerous international prizes and has been short-listed for the Nobel Prize in Literature. In a career spanning more than forty years, he has published dozens of books, and he continues to live and write in Paris.