Translated by Sarah Ardizzone
About the Book
A Financial Times Best Summer Book of 2022
Yamina Taleb is approaching her seventieth birthday. These days, she strives for a quiet life, grateful to the country that hosts her and her adored family. The closest she gets to drama is scooping ‘revolutionary’ bargains in the form of plastic kitchenware gadgets.
But Yamina’s children feel differently about life in Paris. They don’t always fit in, and it hurts. Omar wonders whether it’s too late to change course as he watches the world pass him by from the driver’s seat of his Uber. His sisters are tired of having to prove themselves and their allegiance to a place that is at once home, and not. When the Talebs go away together on holiday – not to the motherland, but to a villa-with-pool rental near the Atlantic coast – they come to realise just how strongly family defines our sense of belonging.
Moving between Algeria and Paris, Discretion touchingly evokes the realities of a first- and second-generation family as they carve out a future for themselves in France, finding one another as they go along.
About the Author
Faïza Guène is an award-winning French Algerian writer and director. Spotted at a writing workshop at the age of thirteen, she went on to make an astonishing literary debut with Kiffe kiffe demain (Just Like Tomorrow), which was an international bestseller and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Her other novels in English (also translated by Sarah Ardizzone to critical acclaim) include Dreams from the Endz, Bar Balto and Men Don’t Cry. Guène has directed several short films and is a co-writer on Disney+ Star’s Bafta-nominated Original mini-series, Oussekine.
About the Translator
Sarah Ardizzone is an award-winning translator from the French. Her translation of Faïza Guène’s Kiffe kiffe demain won the Scott Moncrieff Prize and was shortlisted for the Young Minds Book Award. Ardizzone’s other authors include Gaël Faye, Yasmina Reza, Daniel Pennac and Alexandre Dumas. Sarah was recently appointed a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for services to contemporary French Literature.
‘Wonderful. A vivid, soulful novel. Guène’s Paris is a place of grifting and grafting where young rebels rub up against calcified traditions. This is a writer at the height of her powers, addressing issues of migration and belonging with defiance, zest and humour.’ Bidisha
‘An important voice in French literature, Guène writes with intimacy and power.’ Diana Evans
‘One of the hottest literary talents of multicultural Europe.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘She writes her novel like one might narrate a film, with a poetic prose that reveals detailed glimpses into the generations of the Taleb family, hardened and shaped by war, immigration and racism.’ The National