The Algerian novelist and poet Dihia Louiz (also Dihya Lwiz, whose given name was Louiza Aouzelleg) died on Friday, following an illness. The 32-year-old author, who died on the anniversary of fellow Algerian novelist Assia Djebar’s birth, was in her hometown of Bejaia:
Photo from the author’s Facebook page.
Author Youssef Zirem told Le Matin d’Algérie that Louiz had a “crazy talent” in “Kabyle, Arabic and French.”
While her two first novels were in Arabic, her most recent, Mohammed Dib Prize-winning novel, published in 2016, was written in Tamazight.
Louiz’s final published work was a Tamazight poem posted to her public Facebook page on June 27.
Along with other Tamazight-writing Moroccan, Algerian, and Libyan authors, Louiz contributed to a collection of short stories called Ifssan N Tamunt, or The Seeds of Union, which was published in 2013.
“It’s my mother language,” Louiz told ArabLit in a 2014 interview ahead of her appearance at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. “So it’s easy to write [in Tamazight] about some matters close to my community and its traditions.”
Louiz first caught critics’ attention five years ago, at just twenty-six, with her debut novel A Body Inside Me (2012). It was published by Algeria’s TIRA editions and explores new motherhood. Her second novel, I Throw Myself in Front of You (2013), was co-published in Algeria and Beirut. Her most recent novel, Gar igenni d tmurt, or Between Heaven and Earth, took the Mohammed Dib Prize, in the Tamazight category, in 2016.
Read the 2014 interview with Louiz.
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