Boualem Sansal is the author of six novels. His first novel Le Serment des Barbares (The Barbarians’ Oath) won the 1999 Prix du Premier Roman. In 2003 he was dismissed from his government job for criticising the Algerian government, and since 2006 his books have been banned in his own country. Today he is considered not only one of Algeria’s most important writers, but also a literary figure of international stature. Le village de l’allemand (also translated into English by Frank Wynne as An Unfinished Business) won France’s Grand Prix RTL LIRE 2008 and Belgium’s Grand Prix de la Francophonie 2008. In 2011 he was awarded the German Booksellers’ Peace Prize and in 2012 the Prix du Roman Arabe, later withdrawn, despite protests from the jury, following a visit to Israel to speak at the Jerusalem Writers Festival. He lives in Boumerdès, near Algiers.