Abdellah Taïa was born in Salé, Morocco, in 1973. He lives in Paris since 1998, when he started writing fictional texts of autobiographical inspiration: three short stories in Des nouvelles du Maroc (Paris: Méditerranée, 1999); Mon Maroc (Paris: Séguier, 2000); Le rouge du tarbouche (Paris: Séguier, 2005); L’armée du salut (Paris: Seuil, 2006). Since then he has published six novels at the Editions du Seuil: Une mélancolie arabe (2008), Le jour du Roi (2010, Prix de Flore), Infidèles (2012), Un pays pour mourir (2015), Celui qui est digne d’être aimé (2017), La vie lente (2019).
In 2009 he edited, prefaced and contributed to Leres à un jeune marocain (Paris: Seuil). He has co-authored with Frédéric Mierrand a book of photos and texts entitled Maroc 1900-1960, un certain regard (Arles: Actes Sud, 2007); has postfaced Grandes chaleurs, a photography book by Francois-Marie Banier (Goingen: Steidl, 2009); has edited and prefaced the collective volume Jean Genet, un saint marocain (Tangier: LDC Editions, Winter 2010-2011 special issue of Nejma); and most recently he wrote, with Mahmoud Farag, the texts for Egypte les martyrs de la révolution, a photography book by Denis Dailleux (Marseille, Le bec en l’air / Amnesty International, 2014).
Taïa has also contributed fiction texts to French gay magazine Têtu, along with numerous articles and interviews advocating for human rights, social equality, economical justice, political, religious and cultural free speech, and sexual freedom in Arab-Muslim countries to international newspapers and magazines. An adaptation of his novel L’armée du salut was his first feature film, released in 2014, screened at major festivals around the world and was awarded the Grand Prix at the European First Films Festival in Angers. L’armée du salut is the first gay themed autobiographically inspired movie ever publicly screened in Morocco, at the 2014 Tangier Film Festival. His novels have been translated in several languages including English, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, Romanian and Swedish.
TITLE OF THE NECS 2021 LECTURE: Queering Trasnmediterranean Identities