Sunday, August 21, 2016 | Algiers, Algeria (map)
« Son passé est surchargé des confrontations de l’histoire. Elle est la grande métropole de la rive sud de la Méditerranée. Ni Barcelone, ni Marseille, ni Naples, dans la lumière bleue, Alger la Blanche! »
French-speaking readers, there is your mysterious, enticing introduction. English-speaking readers, let me fill you in: This week I'm proud to announce that the newly published French-language Uncommon Alger is available for sale here in Algiers. I've just picked up my copy today and it is beautiful!
Based in London, Uncommon Guidebooks publish just that—unusual guides to cities around the world that are as much travel guide as cultural artifact in and of themselves. Filled with vivid photos, unique essays, artwork, comics, historical documents, and more, the books capture and convey the atmosphere of a place.
To this new volume on Algiers, I contributed a photo (of women wearing the
traditional Algerian haïk, taken at the Belaredj collective's November 1, 2014 outing) and a chapter, entitled "Bien Venue on Algerie". (Yes, French-speakers, that is deliberately misspelled, as you will understand if you read the story!) The chapter is a much refined, translated version of the misadventures and misunderstandings I endured in my quest to find my first apartment here in Algiers (which I described previously on this blog in my four-part "House Hungers Algiers" series: I, II, III, IV).
I'm honored and humbled to share these pages with some extremely talented local writers and artists whose gifts are on full display in this volume, combining to communicate the essence of the amazing, tragic, beautiful, and utterly unique city that is Algiers. Many thanks to the Uncommon team, especially to publisher Dora Bouhara for choosing me to help share a bit of her hometown with the world through this project.
"Uncommon Alger" is available online for delivery in Europe at Uncommon Guides' website, or for worldwide delivery through Amazon.com. It is available in Algiers at: