Boualem Sansal is a writer, engineer, and economist born in Algeria. He began writing at the age of fifty after retiring from his job as a high-ranking official in the Algerian government, inspired by political unrest and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in his home country. Sansal writes in French, and his work has won top literary awards in France, among them the Prix du Premier Roman in 1999 for his debut novel, Le serment des Barbares.
Boualem Sansal’s first novel to appear in English, The German Mujahid (Europa, 2009), won the RTL Reader’s Prize for Fiction in France and was the first work of fiction by an Arab writer to acknowledge the Holocaust in print. His fiction and essays have been systematically censored in his native country due to their criticism of the government. He has been awarded the prestigious Prix du Roman Arabe in 2012 and the German Peace Prize in 2011. 2084: The End of the World, his seventh novel, won the French Academy’s Gran Prix for Fiction.