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Interesting Facts about Taos Amrouche, The First Algerian Women to Publish a Novel



Interesting Facts about Taos Amrouche, The First Algerian Women to Publish a Novel

Today’s Google Doodle honors Taos Amrouche, a Kabyle Algerian French singer, author, and folklorist who is one of the first Algerian women to publish a novel and has made Berber literature and culture more widely available. Taos Amrouche, an Algerian French singer and author, is honored in this Doodle for his contributions to preserving the oral traditions of the Kabyle people, a Berber ethnic group native to northern Algeria. Amrouche is shown in her stage costume in the Google Doodle artwork. Her parents relocated from Algeria to Tunis, Tunisia, where she was born on March 4, 1913. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Taos Amrouche.

Taos Amrouche 111th Birthday Google Doodle
Google Doodle on Taos Amrouche’s 111th Birthday

Here is a look at the life and work of Taos Amrouche.

Who was Taos Amrouche?

Algerian folklorist who also brought her mother’s writings to publish, and the first woman in Algeria to publish a novel.

Quick Look

  • Also known as: Marie-Louise-Taos Amrouche
  • Birth date: 4 March 1913
  • Birthplace: Tunis, Tunisia
  • Died on: 2 April 1976 (aged 63)
  • Death place: Saint-Michel-l’Observatoire, France
  • Famous as: Singer, writer

20 Interesting Facts about Taos Amrouche

  1. Writer and singer Marie-Louise Taos Amrouche was from Algeria. She published her first novel as an Algerian woman in 1947.
  2. She was the only daughter in a family of six sons and was born on March 4, 1913, in Tunis, Tunisia, to a family of Kabyle Roman Catholic converts. After their conversion, her family fled to Tunisia to avoid persecution.
  3. Taos Amrouche’s life was greatly influenced by her mother, the well-known Kabyle singer Fadhma Aït Mansour and her writing style would come to represent the oral traditions of her mother’s family, the Kabylie Berber people.
  4. After completing her primary and secondary education in Tunis, Amrouche traveled to Sèvres, France, in 1935 to enroll in the École Normale.
  5. Amrouche began collecting and interpreting Kabyle songs in 1936, working with her mother and older brother Jean Amrouche.
  6. Taos Amrouche, a Tunisian, gained notoriety in the early 1930s by translating and performing traditional Berber (Kabylia) songs in French.
  7. She won a scholarship to study at the Casa Velasquez in Spain in 1939 at the Congrès de Chant de Fès, where she researched the connections between Spanish popular songs and Berber music.
  8. Taos Amrouche relocated to France in 1945 and obtained French citizenship.
  9. Published in 1947, her autobiographical debut novel, Jacinthe Noir (Black Hyacinth), is the first novel written and published by an Algerian woman and among the first ever written in French by a woman from North Africa.
  10. Her mother’s Christian name, Marguerite, inspired her to adopt the pen name Marguerite-Taos after she published her collection of stories and poems, Le grain magique (The Magic Grain), in 1966. Amrouche’s resolution was explored through her French and Algerian influences in her poems and songs.
  11. Taos Amrouche sang in Kabyle and wrote in French. The highly successful Chants berbères de Kabylie (1967) album was her brother Jean’s translation of several traditional Kabyle songs into French.
  12. Amrouche’s mother, Fadhma Mansour Amrouche, died in 1967. Amrouche oversaw the publication of her mother’s autobiography, The Story of My Life, a year later despite her father’s disapproval.
  13. Her other albums include Chants sauvés de l’oubli (“Songs Saved from Oblivion”), Hommage au chant profond (“Homage to a Profound Song”), Chants berbères de la meule et du berceau (1975), and Incantations, méditations et danses sacrées berbères (1974).
  14. Taos Amrouche was one of the founders of the Académie berbère in 1966 and an activist for Berber issues.
  15. She co-founded the Académie berbère, participated in many Berber discussions, and occasionally hosted the meetings at her Parisian residence.
  16. Today, the house has a plaque outside honoring her artistic creations.
  17. Later in life, Amrouche played a key role in the University of Algeria’s creation of a chair in Berber literature and sociology.
  18. After spending 31 years in France, Taos Amrouche died in 1976.
  19. Taos Amrouche dedicated a significant time of her life to conserving the culture of the hardy Kabyle people, which is reflected in her writing and music.
  20. On March 4th, 2024, Google Featured a Google Doodle on its homepage to celebrate Taos Amrouche’s 111th Birthday.
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