Event: Amara Lakhous
When: Tuesday, February 28, 6:00 pm
Where: Gamble Auditorium B, Mount Holyoke College
Sponsored by the Italian Program at Mount Holyoke College and The Valentine Giamatti Fund
The 2017 Giamatti speaker is Italian author Amara Lakhous. His lecture is Narrating the Mediterranean with Originality: My Journey as a Bilingual Writer in Arabic and Italian.
Amara Lakhous was born in 1970 in Algiers, the sixth of nine children. His parents were Berbers, and they sent him to a Koran school for four years where he learned classical Arabic. He learned French at junior school, which meant that he had the role of mediating between his Algerian and his French relatives. He was influenced from an early age by authors like Mahfouz, Flaubert and Hemingway. After finishing school he decided to study at the Faculty for Philosophy in Algiers, where he also delved into the roots of his Algerian identity, religion, the civil war and systems of male superiority.
He went on to work for Algerian radio, where, like many of his colleagues, he had to put up with repeated threats. “I was sick and tired of waiting for my murderers”, is how Lakhous explained his decision to leave Algeria. In 1995, with a manuscript in his luggage, he moved to Rome.
His first novel,Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio (Europa Editions, 2008), was awarded Italy’s prestigious Flaiano Prize. He is also the author of Divorce Islamic Style and Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet.
Amara Lakhous has been awarded, among others, the Premio Flaiano per la narrativa in 2006 and Algeria’s most prestigious literary award, the Prix des libraires Algeriens in 2008.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 6:00pm
Gamble Auditorium B
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA 01075