World Literature Weekend: Faïza Guène with Sarah Ardizzone

Interpreter: Carine Kennedy

Where: BP Room, British Museum, London, UK

Faïza Guène is a French writer and film director, born to Algerian parents in 1985. She wrote her first novel, Kiffe Kiffe demain (published in English as Just Like Tomorrow), when she was 17 years old. It was a huge success in France, and has been translated throughout the world. Guène’s work breaks out of the Francophone ghetto to offer a remarkable dialogue between the disenfranchised banlieues and ‘metropolitan’ France. Rooted in disarming observational comedy, her novels give voice both to the Arabic-influenced backslang (verlan) spoken by young immigrants and the ‘straight’ French of her education, in a creative mix skilfully rendered by her translator and co-speaker, Sarah Ardizzone. Dubbed ‘the Sagan of the suburbs’, Guène develops her political concerns, comic flair and linguistic inventiveness in her second book Dreams from the Endz (Vintage).

Faïza Guène was born in France in 1985 to Algerian parents. Her first novel, Just Like Tomorrow, was a huge success in France, selling over 360,000 copies. She lives in Pantin, Seine-Saint-Denis, a suburb north of Paris.

Sarah Ardizzone was highly praised for her translation of Just Like Tomorrow, winning the Scott-Moncrieff Prize 2007. She specialises in translating urban slang, and has spent time living in Marseille to pick up ‘Beur’ backslang.

Part of the London Review Bookshop’s World Literature Weekend

Ticket prices include postage. Concessionary rates available for LRB subscribers, Friends of the British Museum, students and OAPs – please call +44 (0)20 7209 1141


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