ASSIA DJEBAR was born in Algeria of Berber heritage, and was educated in France and in her homeland. In 1996 she won the prestigious Neustadt Prize for Contributions to World Literature (previous winners include Max Frisch, Francis Ponge, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and the Yourcenar Prize in 1997. She is a novelist, scholar, poet, and filmmaker who won the Venice Biennale Critics Prize (1979). She writes in French and her books have been translated into many languages. She lives in Paris and in Baton Rouge, where she is currently Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies at Louisiana State University.