Jewish author wins Tunisian literary prize

As reported in the Times of Israel, a French-Jewish author and ethnopsychologist has won a prestigious
literary prize in Tunisia for a book he wrote about the life and
expulsion of Egyptian Jews. Tobie Nathan had an academic career and served as cultural attache to the French embassy in Israel in the early 2000s. The award may be interpreted not only as a recognition that Jews were forced out of the Arab world, but to show that, in spite of sporadic terror attacks and the rise of Islamism since the Arab Spring, the secular Tunisian elite is philosemitic. (with thanks: Veronique, Lily and Jeff)

Tobie Nathan (Photo: Joël Saget AFP)


jury of the “Goncourt List: The Choice of Tunisia” award voted
Wednesday to give its first-ever prize to Tobie Nathan for his book
“This Country that Resembles You,” which was published in French earlier
this year. 

The Tunisian award was established earlier
this year as the local version of France’s Goncourt Prize, awarded
annually since 1903 by the Académie Goncourt literary society in Paris
to the author of “the best and most imaginative prose work of the year.”
Prominent members of the French society visited Tunisia in October to
assist the Tunisian affiliate in selecting candidates for the prize.

Nathan was announced as the affiliate’s
first-ever laureate at an event Wednesday at the French Institute of
Tunisia. The four final candidates were selected according to the votes
of 176 literature professionals and students from 12 institutions, the
news site reported Thursday.

Read article in full

Scroll down for Veronique Chemla’s timeline on recent events in Tunisia (French)


  • I found this interview disappointing – Nurit Cohen does not say anything about refugees returning in Jerusalem and Gush Etzion etc and if and when they got their property back.

  • off topic//
    a new book by Dr Nurt Cohen Levinovsky a historian and author of 'Jewish Refugees During the War of Independence,' tells the story of the Jewish refugees within the Land of Israel during the war of Independence. There was a total of circa 60,000 Jewish refugees within the country, she says. Most of them could go home after the war [as in south Tel Aviv] since the Jews won the war. But many could not, such as the Jewish refugees from the Shimon haTsadiq quarter in Jerusalem who could not go home afterwards since Jordan [then transjordan] had taken over their homes. There were thousands of other Jews who could not go home after the war [Beyt ha`Arava, Gush `Etsion, Neveh Ya`aqov, etc].

    The link is to a radio interview with the author in english


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