Over the years French publishers have printed many books on the political situation in Tunisia as well as fiction by Tunisian writers such as Habib Selmi or Aroussia Nalouti (Actes Sud). France occupied Tunisia from 1881 until the country’s independence in 1956. Never a colony, Tunisia was nevertheless a French protectorate and the ties between the two countries have been close, right up to the recent departure of former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.
La Découverte and L’Archipel will both be publishing books in February and March with new information on Ben Ali’s 23-year reign.
Nicolas Beau and Jean-Pierre Tuquoi are working on a revised edition of their 2002 book entitled Notre ami Ben Ali, (Our friend Ben Ali) for La Découverte and Martine Gozlan, currently in Tunisia, will submit a comparative analysis of politics in North Africa for L’Archipel.
The French magazine Livres Hebdo recently published a list of books and essays that focus on the dictatorial aspect of Ben Ali’s regime:
- La Tunisie de Ben Ali: miracle ou mirage? (February 2010, éditions du Cygne) by Florence Beaugé
- Dictateurs en sursis: une voie démocratique pour le monde arabe (October 2009, éditions de l’Atelier), by Moncef Marzouki, interviews with Vincent Geisser
- La régente de Cathage: main basse sur la Tunisie (October 2009, La Découverte) de Nicolas Beau et Catherine Graciet
- Tunisie, terre de paradoxes (July 2006, L’Archipel), by Antoine Sfeir
- Ben Ali et ses faux démocrates (October 2004, Publisud), by François Bécet
- Le syndrome autoritaire: politique en Tunisie de Bourguiba à Ben Ali (September 2003, Presses de Sciences Po) by Michel Camau and Vincent Geisser
- Tunisie: le délitement de la cité – coercition, consentement, résistance (July 2003, Karthala) by Sadri Khiari
- Tunisie, le livre noir (May 2002, La Découverte), Documents collected by Reporters sans Frontières
- La Tunisie de Ben Ali: la société contre le régime (March 2002, L’Harmattan), by Olfa Lamloum and Bernard Ravenel
For fiction, see also the recent edition of Banipal magazine on Modern Tunisian Literature.