GRAPHIC NOVELS

Algériennes: The Forgotten Women of the Algerian Revolution

Pennsylvania State Univ. (Graphic Medicine, Bk. 19). Sept. 2020. 120p. ISBN 9780271086231. pap. $24.95. Rated: Teen+. HIST
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After her father erupts in anger when she attempts to interview him about his experience fighting in the Algerian War of Independence, a French woman named Beatrice becomes increasingly curious about the taboo against discussing the war and decides she wants to know more, “to pop the abscess and flush away this silence.” Her mother tells her a story about witnessing a bombing while visiting Algeria in the 1950s and introduces her to Saïda, an Algerian woman whose family was forced into exile after the war because her father fought on behalf of the French. Beatrice then travels to Algeria, where she spends time with a former Resistance fighter dedicated to keeping the memory of the women who fought in the war alive and then meets a French Algerian woman who views Algeria as her homeland even as she criticizes the revolution. Finally, Beatrice interviews Malika, a member of the Resistance who experienced brutal torture and sexual assault after being taken prisoner by the French.
VERDICT Meralli (És Meu!) and Deloupy (Pour la peau) capture the complex legacy of the war through a tapestry of intersecting stories and convincingly argue that denying the trauma is to prolong its impact. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s Graphic Novels Spotlight “Picture This,” LJ 6/20.]

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