Akli Tadjer

Akli Tadjer was born in Paris to parents of Algerian descent. He has written seven novels. His first book Les A.N.I. du Tassili won the Georges Brassens Prize. It was followed by Courage et Patience (Courage and Patience) which won the Afrique Méditerranéenne Award, Alphonse and the Porteur de Cartable (The Satchel Carrier) which was adapted for television. For Bel-Avenir, he was awarded the Populiste Prize.

Il était une fois…peut-être pas (Once upon a Time… Maybe Not) won the AuFeminin.com Prize, and the Var Prize and is to be adapted by France Television this year. His latest novel Western was published in October 2009.

The novel

BREL AND I

Akli Tadjer Sofitel Brussels Europe

Of Brussels, I have only experienced the wind-beaten platforms at the South Station and the emollient foyers of grand hotels where I spent the day talking about my novels to literary critics. I would leave for Paris in the evening, frustrated at not knowing anything about the Belgian capital. And, each time, while looking at the post cards on display at the Station’s newsstands, I would think that it would be good if, one day, a chance encounter had me visit the city. Yesterday, at dusk, I sat down on a bench at the end of the platform as I often do. A feminine voice escaped the speakers to announce that my train would be be delayed. How long? I don’t remember. The reason? I had already stopped listening. The winter wind blew in gusts. The cold bleared my eyes, I turned my coat collar up and closed my eyes. I was feeling more alone than ever, doubtlessly because, over…

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Back to the Beginning

Akli Tadjer Sofitel Algiers Hamma Garden

This is how it started. It was the wettest month of May I had ever known. Each day brought torrents of rain, wind, hail. To make matters worse, the forecast was for more of the same for days and days to come. Only windshield-wiper salesmen, umbrella merchants and snails were happy. My mother, who in April had still been sprightly when we had feted her 77th spring, had turned gloomy. She spent hours sitting on the couch, head down, arms crossed, staring at her feet. And she refused to say a word. We communicated only with unintelligible sounds, clearing our throats or making gestures and signs. She also had no appetite. In mid-afternoon, she would dip a piece of buttered bread in a cup of lukewarm tea and that would be it for the day. I had attributed her blues to the weight of the steely sky hanging so low that it blended into the gray zinc roofs of the…

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