ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I was born and brought up in Constantine, Algeria, where I came of age during the war of independence of that country from France. On the eve of Algeria's independence, a week before I turned eighteen, my family and I abandoned our home, place of work, and life, as we knew it. Destitute, facing a bleak future, we took refuge in France. Eight years later, hoping the soil of "L'Amérique" would be better suited to a happier life, proud owner of a single suitcase, I moved to the United States. There, I studied commercial art at the Art Institute of Boston and worked in Filene's art department.
Later, I met my husband. Together, we lived in Washington D.C., where I attended the Washington School for Secretaries. Afterward, we moved to Pennsylvania, then Illinois. There, I served as executive secretary in our converting business as well as studied Spanish at the college of DuPage and sculpting at the Art Institute of Chicago. Finally, we retired to South Carolina and I wrote my memoir, SIROCCO.
SIROCCO, not only revives the naive, funny spirit of a childhood shared with my two brothers and two sisters in Sidi Mabrouk, a suburb of Constantine, but also unleashes the ghosts of violence and hatred that steeped the eight-year long war of Algeria's independence.
A voracious reader, I cultivate my passion for the power and magic of words. When asked, "Who's your favorite author?" "Steinbeck," is my straight-from-the-heart answer. For love of languages, I speak French – mais bien sûr. English -- indubitably. And Spanish -- por qué no?
On my time away from writing, I like to paint (pictures, not walls), shoot photos (trying not to hurt them), bowl, and hike. Ah, oui: Last, but not least, I'm raving mad about dark chocolate.
I am a member of the South Carolina Writers Workshop, Sisters in Crime, Greenville chapter, the National Association of Memoir Writers, the Southern Indie Booksellers Alliance, and the Seneca Writers Critique Group.
Last, but not least, I am a member of Le Cercle Franco-Americain in Greenville, SC.
I Won the following honors:
2020 Eric Hoffer Book Award:
Legacy, Nonfiction: Winner
First Horizon - for Debut Author: Winner
Grand Prize Short List: Finalist
2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award Historical Non-Fiction category : Finalist
2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Category Memoirs/Historical/Legacy: Finalist
2011 Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Awards for nonfiction: Second Place
2011 William Faulkner Wisdom Competition Novel in progress: Semi-Finalist
2011 William Faulkner Wisdom Competition short story: Semi-finalist
2012: Two of my creative nonfiction stories appeared in the Petigru Review Literary Journal
2011: Two of my creative nonfiction stories appeared in thePetigru Review Literary Journal.
At present, I am in the throws of publishing the French translation of SiROCCO and am writing the first draft of MISTRAL, SIROCCO's sequel, which tells the struggle my family, as well as over a million others like us, faced after we fled Algeria, searching for new places to call home across the globe.