Read Tomboy by Nina Bouraoui Jehanne-Marie Gavarini Marjorie Attignol Salvodon Online


How do you live in Algeria when you grow up speaking French, with a French mother? How do you live in France when you’ve spent your childhood in Algeria with an Algerian father? Tomboy is the story of a girl whose father calls her Brio, whose alter ego is Amine, and whose mother is a blue-eyed blond. But who is she? Born five years after Algerian independence in 1967, sheHow do you live in Algeria when you grow up speaking French, with a French mother? How do you live in France when you’ve spent your childhood in Algeria with an Algerian father? Tomboy is the story of a girl whose father calls her Brio, whose alter ego is Amine, and whose mother is a blue-eyed blond. But who is she? Born five years after Algerian independence in 1967, she navigates the cultural, emotional, and linguistic boundaries of identity living in a world that doesn’t seem to recognize her. In this semiautobiographical novel, the young French Algerian author Nina Bouraoui introduces us to a girl who feels that Algeria is the country of men. Her childhood years spent in Algeria lead her to explore the borderland between genders as she tries to find her balance between nations, races, and identities. With prose modeling the rhythm of the seasons and the sea, Tomboy enters the innermost reality of a life lived on the edge of several cultures....

Title : Tomboy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780803262591
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 129 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Tomboy Reviews

  • Aubrey
    2019-03-24 05:09

    Writers are dangerous people. They are obsessed with truth, their own truth. Writers are childish; they report, they tattle, they cannot keep anything to themselves. One should not socialize with them. They force you to lie, to dissimulate, and defend yourself later.I'd rather read an open heart surgery than a dance, a tower, or a painting. All art lies, but your pain does not, so the first might as well hurt in the effort of healing. There's Harding, and Wolf, and Vera, and so many others who take to the task of the short and swift and brutal that would be more suited to molding a scalpel than writing a novella. And yet, here we are. Duras' thrown around a bunch when it comes to this author, and I will too, for the sake of the tag line popularity contest I still find myself instinctively leaning towards if nothing else. This is the post of that one's colonialism, mind you. Less The Stranger, more The Wretched of the Earth, and a whole lot more rage against the racialized gender and the gendered race than the two of those combined.The idea of death will come from these people, whom i run into in France, these unknown people who violate my life. These French people speaking to the little Algerian girl will want to educate themselves; they will want to know. The idea of death will come from their questions, repeated endlessly.Some killers laugh. Others cry freedom of speech. A few just keep on killing, and so as long as that's going on, the first two don't occur in a vacuum. You could get things other than decolonization via an individual's existence out of this, especially in terms of the prose, but when the shape of the narrative is pointedly in the form of a scalpel, the effort expended clinging to the slippery haft of the handle isn't worth the passage of 116 pages. The problem's a simple matter of a myriad species classifying itself via human experimentation and torture, but when such classifications overlap in more ways during the last half of the 20th century than the standard library catalog can keep up with, only a work of experimental literature beyond the pale of the established canon can hope to keep pace. You can keep your academic theory, but if you ignore history and put up your nose at transitions from word to flesh to word that are utter proof of how far language has to go, you'll be lost, lost, lost.Strong hands, workers' flesh. Men first and later their wives, brought back like packages by mail, by these overcrowded boats. Such a dehumanizing experience. This shame, accepted and recognized reluctantly. This French shame. No, my father is an economist: all the better. He travels a lot: whew! He is an educated Algerian: bravo! A high-ranking government worker: even better!The name of the game on my side of the ocean and across my area of the borderlands is different, but the results are of similar caliber. This story isn't mine, though. My existence also connotes a story of bloodshed, but less the civil war of colonial vacuum, more the genocide of ongoing settler state. I could tour France and chafe at my ill ease with languages outside the single ken, I really could, but I always look the part enough to never be put on display. Maybe in the realm of gender performance I'd draw some stares, but race? Put me in six inch heels, and I'll play the Aryan role with a minimal amount of self-defense.My ability to adjust is maddening, creating several parallel lives and a multitude of small betrayals.This wasn't enough of a surprise to merit my first favorite of the year, but it came very, very, very close. It's always nice when that happens.France is a kind of violence.

  • Bjorn
    2019-03-23 01:33

    I've always felt illegal at passport checkpoints. Without correct papers. Always expect to be ejected from the line of passengers, surrounded and seized by two police officers, then taken to a small room. Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you going?Apparently largely autobiographical, Tomboy is the story of Yasmina/Nina/Jasmine, born to an Algerian father and a French mother only a few years after the very bloody liberation war, growing up in Algiers with a boy for a best friend, which works fine as long as they're children. But then she reaches puberty and gradually becomes aware of what she is by what she is not; female, mixed-race, tomboyish, gay, too foreign in both of her home countries, she faces a low-key but constant barrage of everything from open racist hostility to well-meaning can-I-pet-the-dog curiosity from all those who recognise her as Something Different, while the climate hardens in both Algeria and France. Yada yada yada, important, yeah, but we've heard that before. What makes it fresh is the way she tells it, both in the detail, all the tiny little impressions that make up everyday life, and in that prose, all short sentences bouncing off and contrasting and contradicting and expanding on each other. Reading Bouraoui is like putting together a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, where you find yourself admiring both the individual pieces and the finished product, but it's the act of watching it all come together to form a whole that stays with you.

  • Beth
    2019-03-04 03:15

    This is a book about in-between-ness. About a young woman searching for her identity and finding that it doesn’t fit neatly into any of the categories she sees around her. Nina is the daughter of an Algerian father and a French mother, living in Algeria during a time of rising conflict between Algeria and France, and her identity is being pulled apart at the seams.Nina’s state of being in-between in terms of national and cultural identity is mirrored in her struggle with her sexual identity. The English title Tomboy seems too trite of a translation — the French title conveys more of a sense of something in her gender identity being lacking, missing, lost. The fact that the story unfolds in Algeria makes Nina’s struggle with her femininity even more poignant — in this context separation from the world of men involves a constriction of so many aspects of life. So her struggle continues: French or Algerian? Male or female? Child or adult?The language and style of this book are as important — or more so — than the plot itself. The language is forceful, sonorous, repetitive — like waves breaking against the shore. There’s hardly any dialogue: it’s an internal story, strewn with thought fragments and angst. The language itself takes on such importance that the book almost reads as poetry in prose form. I couldn’t call it an enjoyable book, but it’s a powerful ode to the displacement and identity confusion that stem from wars like that in Algeria during the 1960s.*****If you appreciated this review, check out my blog at

  • Fleur
    2019-03-02 04:32

    Hard to read sometimes and I didn't really like it at first but now at the end I think it is beautiful.

  • Elie
    2019-03-10 01:22

    From the back cover blurb, i was expecting an interesting book about a trans man in Algeria. This wasn't it at all. This was an obviously very depressed person's account of how horrible it is to be biracial and not belonging anywhere, but applied as a generalization for all biracial kids, or at least all french-algerian kids. In an incredibly repetitive flow of consciousness style.With occasional mention of gender-identity issues.Honestly, read the first 3 pages, and you'll have read the whole book.

  • Rebecka
    2019-03-13 04:19

    This is difficult to rate, since it's not your typical kind of book, but just one long struggle for identity. I found some parts very good and pertinent, but quite a lot of the text felt superfluous and overly repetitive. On the other hand, the repetition serves a purpose and sets a certain mood. Perhaps this book is more interesting if you've read the rest of Bouraoui's books.

  • Brigitte
    2019-03-06 01:28

    Nina Bouraoui's semiautobiographical novel TOMBOY is just beautiful and reads like a collection of prose poems. In this particular work, Bouraoui's writing reminds me of Marguerite Duras's own semiautobiographical novel THE LOVER. Reading TOMBOY in light of Edward Said's essay "Reflection on Exile" illustrates the idea that "the pathos of exile is in the loss of contact with the solidity and the satisfaction of the earth: homecoming is out of the question," and in Bouraoui's case, as in the case of all transnational writers, writing becomes her home. I highly recommend this book.

  • Belkis Anane
    2019-03-15 07:05

    Ce qui frappe en premier c'est ce format d'écriture insolite et fragmenté, néanmoins je l'apprécie de plus en plus: je pense que Bouraoui essaye de briser la langue française, l'offenser, la tourmenter, cette langue qu'on lui a imposé. Le symbolisme est omniprésent: Amine c'est l'Algérie, la France c'est Nina la femme, Algers c'est Nina le garçon, l'Italie c'est Nina le corps sexuel... En court: je le recommande aux jeunes ames reveuses/ perdues/ nostalgiques. Ce fut un plaisir supreme de lire Bouraoui. La fragilité de son écriture contient sa solitude, on s'y perd, et on n'en sort pas indemne.

  • Evelina Liliequist
    2019-02-24 04:31

    Sättet den är skriven på är bokens styrka såväl som svaghet. Nina Bouraqui skriver oerhört poetiskt i korta fragmentariska meningar, ibland bara enstaka ord. Men varje mening har betydelse, en laddning. Så litet sidantal till trots tog den tid att läsa. Men det var värt det.

  • madisson ✨
    2019-03-20 04:22

    2.5 stars!

  • Lia Ung
    2019-03-17 03:25

    To be completely honest this was a one-star-experience for me. But that's just the thing - that was just my experience, and while I did not like it I can understand why a lot of other people did.I guess the story was alright but I really did not care at all for the writing. I had a hard time following exactly what happened and more than once my mind slipped from the story to other things and thoughts. I think it might have helped if there had been any conversation, but on the other hand I have read books (or at least one book that I can remember) that did not have any conversation either and I actually liked that book, so I guess it was just one reason amongst many.I also felt like nothing really happened. A lot of things did happen, but the feeling was still there and that made the book feel pretty pointless.

  • Manolita
    2019-03-08 02:10

    Love the way she describes her Algerian side, so much more vibrant than her French side. Also her tomboy side and how that put her in conflict with herself. The details about when the violence begins in Algeria are excellent, the little changes (how she can no longer play in the park of the Résidence where she lives, apparently a big apartment complex that is French-only and chic) and the big shocking scenes, as when her mother's car is stopped on the road by a hand-made roadblock made by children with woven vines, and the children then spit on her mother.Loved the incantatory language, although it did get a bit on my nerves.Preferred by far her more recent book, Mes mauvaises pensées.

  • Claude
    2019-03-19 01:31

    Ce livre m'a émue et intéressée"(...) Et derrière le cimetière Montparnasse : Hé, Rachel! Hé, Sarah! Hé, salope! Et à la sortie du Bon Marché: Alors ça c'est Cohen Benguigui ou peut-être même Abdulmachinhose. Et mon silence toujours. Et là encore des petites vipères enroulées à mon cou : Toi tu n'es pas comme les autres. Ou : Tu fais pas. Tu pourrais même faire italienne. Et ça : Ah bon ? Tu as une amie qui s'appelle Yasmina, toi Et mon silence toujours. Parce que ma voix n'est rien. Elle s'échappe comme du vent. Bien sûr qu'il ne fallait pas répondre. Je trouverai mieux. Je l'écrirai. C'est mieux ça, la haine de l'autre écrite et révélée dans un livre. J'écris. Et quelqu'un se reconnaîtra. Se trouvera minable. Restera sans voix. Se noiera dans le silence. Terrassé par la douleur".

  • Naori
    2019-03-07 02:33

    An amazing survey or hybrid identitites, Nina is a black white boy girl who struggles to integrate her conflicting notions of race, gender and sexuality. This fictional memoir actually offers a very sophisticated queering or trans lifestyles and issues, as well as a powerful illustration of the contemporary racial dynamics of France's colonization of Algeria. In this novel, the author portrays the diasporic nature of racial hierarchies, the complicated essence of queer erotics, and a very nuanced explication of transperformative acts. Also, a very lyrical piece which read more like a novel than a memoir - haunting...

  • Sophia Ramos
    2019-03-09 01:10

    CD, I'm so sorry that you're probably sitting down right now somewhere and finishing this, because's kind of balls. There are a handful of good scenes, but as our dear sweet wonderful angelic classmate Anne put it, the repetition gives me motion sickness. I've never seen someone enjoy beating a dead horse quite so much. Good luck with the rest of it, friend.

  • Liz
    2019-03-19 08:26

    A little repetitive, clearly a constant internal struggle that she didn't get over the entire book. It gave good insight to what she could have been going through, just a bit extensive. The topic never changed. It was more an internal struggle between her two nationalities then with her feeling like a tomboy. Read it for the cultural aspect if you want, but I don't know I would recommend it.

  • Amy Layton
    2019-03-25 01:14

    Wow, this was such a great book to read for class! It's so well written and I loved how poetic the language was. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who wanted to learn more about identity struggles and about personal connections to Algeria.

  • صالون الجمعة
    2019-03-16 04:11

    Nous avons lu ce livre ici

  • Raphaël
    2019-03-16 02:29

    J'ai eu du mal à rentrer dans cette écriture (peu de phrases de + de 5 mots), mais au final j'ai été assez touché par la sensibilité du propos

  • Patty Lavalle
    2019-03-07 04:35

    Did not enjoy this book. It was very repetitive and the story and characters did not keep me interested.