A remarkable autobiographical novel about coming of age in the Jewish ghetto of Tunis during the 1930s and 1940s. Besides providing an enjoyable narrative, Memmi conveys a vivid picture of the impact of French colonialism on Tunisian society in general and on Tunisian Jews in particular. It is a study of multiple alienation, at once from traditional Jewish culture, Tunisian Muslim culture, and French culture. Memmi's work also sheds light on the little known story of the Holocaust in Axis-occupied Tunisia as well as the growth of zionism among North African Jews.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in French colonialism, North Africa, and modern Jewish history. It is also simply a good read.