Never having known Assia Djebar, i can only speak of the effect her writing has had on me, above all one of her first works, Les enfants du nouveau monde (Children of the New World), created as Algerian independence became a reality, inaugurating a postcolonial nation full of promise and contradiction. In this novel Djebar wrote of Algeria at a moment, 1961-62, when it was on the threshold of its becoming, the very moment of the invention of Algeria, when the coming laborious construction of Algeria, which continues today, was already visible. The moment when the unyielding violence of the struggle to invent this new country, nation, people, and culture might have ceased, in a site subject to a violence that had proceeded endlessly, terrifyingly, since 1954, since the massacre in Sétif in 1945, since the French invasion of 1830, since the fly-whisk incident and the blockade of Algiers in 1827. By 1961 Algeria had for centuries been defined and constructed by violence. In Les enfants du nouveau monde we encounter the trace of a moment when the participants in the Algerian revolution and war had been shaken to the core of their being by the terror of that struggle and risking of life, a moment when what Frantz Fanon called “le problème de l'homme” (374), the invention of a human being beyond the consuming circles of Eurocentric hegemony, was of the utmost urgency. A moment when Algerians were about to give form and reality to Algeria. Here Djebar wrote of this Algeria in a future perfect and perfect future of that moment, an Algeria that would no sooner be born than vanish, an Algeria that still, today, will have been.