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Albert Memmi born December 15, 1920 in Tunis) is a Tunisian Jewish writer and essayist who migrated to France.


Born in colonial Tunisia,from a Tunisian Jewish mother (or Berber) and a Tunisian-Italian Jewish father, he speaks Hebrew and Tunisian-Arabic. He was educated in French primary schools, and continued on to the Carnot high school in Tunis, the University of Algiers where he studied philosophy, and finally the Sorbonne in Paris. Albert Memmi found himself at the crossroads of three cultures, and based his work on the difficulty of finding a balance between the East and the West.[1]

Parallel with his literary work, he pursued a career as a teacher; first as a teacher at the Carnot high school in Tunis (1953) and later in France where he remained after Tunisian independence at the Practical School of Higher Studies, at HEC and at the University of Nanterre (1970).

Although he supported the independence movement in Tunisia, he was not able to find a place in the new Muslim state.

He published his well-regarded first novel, "La statue de sel" (translated as "The Pillar of Salt") in 1953 with a preface by Albert Camus. His other novels include "Agar" (translated as "Strangers"), "Le Scorpion" ("The Scorpion"), and "Le Desert" ("The Desert").

His best-known nonfiction work is "The Colonizer and the Colonized", about the interdependent relationship of the two groups. It was published in 1957, a time when many national liberation movements were active. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote the preface. The work is often read in conjunction with Frantz Fanon's "Les damnés de la Terre" ("The Wretched of the Earth") and "Peau noire, masques blancs" ("Black Skin, White Masks") and Aimé Césaire's "Discourse on Colonialism." In October 2006, Memmi's follow-up to this work, titled "Decolonization and the Decolonized," was published. In this book, Memmi suggests that in the wake of global decolonization, the suffering of former colonies cannot be attributed to the former colonizers, but to the corrupt leaders and governments that control these states.

Memmi's related sociological works include "Dominated Man," "Dependence," and "Racism."

Memmi has also written extensively on Judaism, including "Portrait of a Jew," "Liberation of the Jew" and "Jews and Arabs."

He is also known for the "Anthology of Maghrebian literature" (written in collaboration) published in 1965 (vol. 1) and 1969 (vol. 2).


  1. Kabanda, Théophiste. "La Permanence de l'exil dans le roman francophone." Nouvelles études francophones. 1:24, 2009.



  • A contre-courants. Paris: Nouvel Objet, c1993. ISBN 2840850028
  • Ah, quel bonheurécédé de L’exercice du bonheur. Paris: Arléa : Diffusion Seuil, c1995. ISBN 2869592507
  • Albert Memmi : un entretien avec Robert Davies suivi de Itinéraire de l’expérience vécue à la théorie de la domination. Montréal: Éditions L’Étincelle : distributeur, Réédition Québec, c1975.
  • Bonheurs : 52 semaines. Paris: Arléa, c1992. ISBN 286959142X
  • Le buveur et l’amoureux : le prix de la dépendance. Paris: Arléa : Diffusion Seuil, c1998. ISBN 2869593910
  • Ce que je crois. Paris: B. Grasset, c1985. ISBN 2246311713
  • La dépendance : esquisse pour un portrait du dépendant. [Paris]: Gallimard, c1979.
  • Le désert : ou, La vie et les aventures de Jubair Ouali El-Mammi. [Paris]: Gallimard, c1977.
  • Dictionnaire critique à l’usage des incrédules. Paris: Kiron/Editions du Félin, c2002. ISBN 2866454308
  • L’écriture colorée, ou, Je vous aime en rouge : essai sur une dimension nouvelle de l’écriture, la couleur. Paris: Périple : Distribution Distique, c1986. ISBN 290454903X
  • L’Homme dominé. [Paris]: Gallimard, 1968.
  • L’Homme dominé; le Noir, le colonisé, le prolétaire, le Juif, la femme, le domestique, le racisme. Nouvelle éd. Paris: Payot, 1973. ISBN 222832230X
  • L’individu face à ses dépendances. Paris: Vuibert, c2005. ISBN 2711761819
  • Le juif et l’autre. [Etrepilly]: C. de Bartillat, c1995. ISBN 2841000257
  • Juifs et Arabes. [Paris]: Gallimard, [1974].
  • Le nomade immobile : récit. [Paris]: Arléa, c2000. ISBN 2869595212
  • Le personnage de Jeha dans la littérature orale des Arabes et des Juifs. [Jerusalem]: Institute of Asian and African Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, [1974?]
  • Le pharaon : roman. Paris: Julliard, c1988. ISBN 2260005357
  • Portrait du colonisé, précédé du portrait du colonisateur ... Préface de Jean-Paul Sartre. Paris: Payot, 1973.
  • Portrait du colonisé, précédé du portrait du colonisateur; et d’une préf. de Jean-Paul Sartre. Suivi de Les Canadiens francais sont-ils des colonisés? Ed. rev. et corr. par l’auteur. Montréal: L’Etincelle, 1972. ISBN 088515018X
  • Portrait du colonisé, précédé de portrait du colonisateur : et d’une préface de Jean-Paul Sartre. [Paris]: Gallimard, c1985. ISBN 2070705501
  • Portrait du décolonisé arabo-musulman et de quelques autres. Paris: Gallimard, c2004. ISBN 2070771105
  • Portrait du décolonisé arabo-musulman et de quelques autres. Ed. corr. et augm. d’une postface. Paris: Gallimard, c2004. ISBN 2070773779
  • Portrait d’un Juif. [Paris]: Gallimard, 1962-1966.
  • Le racisme : description, définition, traitement. [Paris]: Gallimard, c1982. ISBN 207035461X
  • Le Scorpion, ou, La confession imaginaire. [Paris]: Gallimard, 1969.
  • La statue de sel, roman. [Paris]: Correa [1953].
  • La statue de sel. Préf. d’Albert Camus. Éd. revue et corr. [Paris]: Gallimard [1966].
  • Térésa et autres femmes : récits. Paris: Félin, c2004. ISBN 2866455681
  • La terre intérieure : entretiens avec Victor Malka. [Paris]: Gallimard, c1976.


  • The colonizer and the colonized. Introduction by Jean-Paul Sartre; afterword by Susan Gilson Miller; [translated by Howard Greenfeld]. Expanded ed. Boston: Beacon Press, c1991. ISBN 0807003018
  • Decolonization and the decolonized. Translated by Robert Bononno. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, c2006. ISBN 0816647348
  • Dependence : a sketch for a portrait of the dependent. Translated by Philip A. Facey. Boston: Beacon Press, c1984. ISBN 0807043001
  • Dominated man; notes towards a portrait. New York: Orion Press [1968].
  • Jews and Arabs. Translated from the French by Eleanor Levieux. Chicago: J. P. O’Hara, c1975. ISBN 0879553278 ISBN 0879553286
  • The liberation of the Jew. Translated from the French by Judy Hyun. New York: Orion Press [1966].
  • The pillar of salt. Translated by Edouard Roditi. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992. ISBN 0807083275
  • The pillar of salt. Chicago: J. P. O’Hara, [1975] c1955. ISBN 0879559071
  • Portrait of a Jew. Translated from the French by Elisabeth Abbott. New York: Orion Press [1962]
  • Racism. Translated and with an introd. by Steve Martinot. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, c2000. ISBN 0816631646
  • The scorpion, or, The imaginary confession. Translated from the French by Eleanor Levieux. New York: Grossman, 1971. 0670622710
  • Strangers. Translated from the French by Brian Rhys. New York: Orion Press [1960]


  • Yehudim Ve-Arvim, translated by Aharon Amir, Sifriyat Hapo'alim, [1975]