Naïma is a young French woman working in a Parisian art gallery. She represents the third generation of her family, whose roots trace back to Algeria.
Throughout the novel, Naïma grapples with questions of identity, belonging, and the complex history of her family. Her grandfather, who immigrated to France from Algeria, carries with him the memories and traumas of the Algerian War of Independence, a subject that has always been taboo in their family.
Driven by a need to understand her family's past and her place within it, Naïma embarks on a journey to explore her Algerian heritage. This takes her to Algeria, where she learns about her family's history and the broader context of Franco-Algerian relations.
Deriving its title from the first line of Elizabeth Bishop's seminal poem "One Art," Alice Zeniter's "The Art of Losing" also won the Dublin Literary Award, the 2017 Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, the Porte Dorée Literary Prize, and Le Monde's Literary Prize.
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