Autobiography and Narrative Resilience

A Harki History Lesson: Dalila Kerchouche’s Filiation Narrative Mon père, ce harki




Filiation narrative, immigration, non-fiction, investigation


This article reads Dalila Kerchouche’s Mon père, ce harki (My Father, this Harki) as a postcolonial filiation narrative, which blends memoir and biography, the personal and collective, the past and present. Lack of knowledge and a desire to see for herself the camps her parents and older siblings experienced prompts Kerchouche to adopt an investigative posture characterized by in situ exploration in conjunction with interviews and the consultation of archives. This allows the author to achieve a polyphonic account of the past. At the same time, her family serves as the prism through which she confronts the stigma attached to Harkis (Algerian soldiers hired by the French Army) and examines their unjust treatment in France.

Author Biography

Rebecca Raitses, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Rebecca Raitses is a PhD candidate in French at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is currently working on her dissertation, Heritage Repair: Revisiting Familial and Collective Histories in Filiation Narratives by Dalila Kerchouche, Colombe Schneck and Martine Storti. This dissertation examines the intersections of immigration, memory and social justice in French works written after the year 2000. She has published a review of Pascale Roze, Le chasseur Zéro. Filiations impossibles by Simona Jișa which is on Fabula under the title, ‘Transmission non-dite rend filiation impossible’ and written on Tony Gatlif for an anthology of French filmmakers: ‘Tony Gatlif doesn’t sit still for a portrait’.





Autobiography and Narrative Resilience