Alice Zeniter is a French novelist, translator, scriptwriter and director. Her novel Take This Man was published in English in 2011. Zeniter has won many awards for her work in France, including the Prix Litteraire de la Porte Doree, the Prix Renaudot des Lyceens and the Prix Goncourt des Lyceens, which was awarded to The Art of Losing. She lives in Britanny, France.
France, like Britain, hardly lacks for migrant fictions now, but Zeniter traces their lonely passage exceptionally well. Her fine-grained scenes unroll into a grander historical canvas. The translator Frank Wynne, in another stellar outing, stylishly catches both her intimate and epic notes . . . With its panoramic vision and generous spirit, The Art of Losing finds shoots of hope amid the stony landscapes of the past. * Spectator * Remarkable . . . Because it deals with immigration, nationalism and Islam, it speaks urgently to our time . . . The moral weight of [Naima's] story is won through the superbly handled earlier sections dealing with the complexities of Ali's loyalties during the war of independence, as Zeniter evenly catalogues the atrocities on both sides . . . This is a novel about people that never loses its sense of humanity. * Sunday Times, 'Translated Book of the Month' * This pacy, complex piece of historical fiction (which was nominated for France's most prestigious literary award, the Prix Goncourt) explores the tangled reality of identity. * New Statesman * Ms. Zeniter's extraordinary achievement is to transform a complicated conflict into a compelling family chronicle, rich in visual detail and lustrous in language. Her storytelling, splendidly translated by Frank Wynne, carries the reader through different generations, cities, cultures, and mindsets without breaking its spell. . . . With The Art of Losing, Ms. Zeniter shows fiction's power as a hedge against loss of the past: the art of regaining. * Wall Street Journal * The Art of Losing is an exceptional novel, a masterful meditation on the negative space of history. With surgical control and deep emotional precision, Alice Zeniter tells the story of a family at once severed from and forever tethered to its past. -- Omar El Akkad, author of <i>American War</i> A deeply human text about the ghosts of identity and decolonization. * Vanity Fair * A captivating exploration of the unspoken stories of the Algerian war. * Le Monde * A powerful family saga . . . [Zeniter] shows how history is passed down from generation to generation, in stories pockmarked by what's left unsaid. * L'Obs *