Saturday 18 May 3pm CEST
Keynote by: Boualem Sansal
Participants include: Gilles Lapouge, Olivier Weber, Patrick Rambaud, Michel Le Bris, Velibor Colic, Gary Victor, Henri Lopes, Mbarek Beyrouk, Maryse Condé, Sorj Chalandon, Serge Bramly, Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès, Didier Decoin, Anne Nivat, Paolo Rumiz, Pete Fromm, Maylis De Kerangal, Nick Stone, Yahia Belaskri, Jean Teule, Noo Saro-Wiwa, Mark Behr, Julien Mabiala Bissila, Deon Meyer, Hakan Günday.
Boualem Sansal was born in 1949. He trained as an engineer and has a PhD in Economics. He occupied different jobs as teacher, consultant, and head of a company. He became a high-ranking civil servant in 1995 in the Department of Industry but he was dismissed in 2003 because of his criticisms of the system.
He was encouraged by his friend Rachid Mimouni, the writer, to write and publish his first novel, Le serment des barbares when he was fifty years old. The novel was acclaimed by both the critics and the readers as soon as it was released in 1999. His other works include L’enfant fou de l’arbre creux and Dis moi le paradis.
His book, Poste Restante, published in Algiers in 2006, is a short scathing open letter from Sansal to his compatriots. It was immediately censored by the Algerian government and so it never reached those it was meant for. He is a merciless witness of Algerian society today of which he paints a vivid picture in his very personal condensed and boisterous style. Boualem Sansal still lives near Algiers.
Sansal has won the Grand Prix de la Francophonie, Prix de la Paix des Libraires Allemands, Grand Prix RTL-Lire, and Prix Edouard Glissant.