Tahar Ben Jelloun  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Tahar Ben Jelloun (Template:Lang-ar) (born in Fes, Morocco, 1 December 1944) is a Moroccan poet and writer. The entirety of his work is written in French, although his first language is Arabic.

After attending a bilingual (Arabic-French) elementary school, Ben Jalloun studied French in Tangier, Morocco until he was 18 years old. He continued his studies in philosophy at Mohammed-V University in Rabat, where he composed his first poems (collected in Hommes sous linceul de silence (1971).

After this point, he worked as a professor in Morocco, teaching philosophy first in Tetouan and then in Casablanca. However, he left Morocco in 1971 after the arabization of the philosophy department, unable or unwilling to teach in Arabic. He moved to Paris to continue his studies in psychology, and began to write more extensively.

Starting in 1972, he began to write articles and reviews for the French newspaper [Le Monde], and in 1975 he received his doctorate in social psychiatry. Using his experience with psychotherapy as both a reference and an inspiration, he wrote the book La Reclusion solitaire in 1976.

In 1985 he published the novel "L'Enfant de sable," which was widely celebrated. He won the Prix Goncourt in 1987 for his novel La Nuit Sacrée.

In 1997 he saw his novel Le Racisme explique a ma fille published, wherein he "explains racism to his daughter," using his family as inspiration for his novels. Ben Jalloun is regularly asked to give speeches and lectures at universities worldwide - both in Morocco, and all over Europe.

In 2004 he was awarded the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for This Blinding Absence of Light (translated from the French by Linda Coverdale). He was rewarded the [[Prix Ulysse] in 2005 for the entirety of his work

In September 2006, he was awarded a special prize for "peace and friendship between people" at Lazio between Europe and the Mediterranean Festival.

On 1 February 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy awarded him the Cross of Grand Officer of the Légion d'honneur.

Ben Jelloun is married and father of 4 children. He lives in Paris.

In his novel, Leaving Tangier, Ben Jelloun writes about a Moroccan brother and sister who leave their impoverished home in search of better lives in Spain.

His novels L'Enfant de sable and La Nuit sacree are translated into 43 languages. Le racism explique a ma fille has been translated into 33 languages. He has participated in translating many of his works.

Selected works

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Tahar Ben Jelloun" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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