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Coffeetown Press
www.coffeetownpress.com
Catherine Treadgold
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Coffeetown Press Announces the January Release of Sirocco: Life in the Twilight of French Algeria
Sirocco: A French Girl Comes of Age in War-Torn Algeria is a memoir by Danielle A. Dahl about her adventures growing up under threat of terrorism.

BriefingWire.com, 11/13/2013 - Seattle, WA.—On January 15, 2014, Coffeetown Press will release Sirocco: A French Girl Comes of Age in War-Torn Algeria (274 pp, $14.95, ISBN: 978-1-60381-194-1), a memoir by Danielle A. Dahl about her adventures growing up under threat of terrorism.

On All Saints Day, 1954, the Algerian War of Independence from France begins, forever changing the lives of ten-year-old Nanna, her family, and a million-and-a-half French settlers.

As Arab rebels carry out terrorist acts against civilians, hatred and bloodshed permeate the fabric of European and Muslim lives. A safe bus ride to town means keeping an eye out for stray shopping baskets containing hidden bombs. A day trip to the beach requires the protection of a military convoy.

But life goes on, and Nanna’s loving mother, mischievous but good-natured siblings, and kind grandfathers provide plenty of adventure and humor. Nanna worships her Papa, who provides for his family and keeps them safe, but, growing up, she begins to understand that he is also a braggart with unyielding views of right and wrong, who believes that attending a supervised party with boys will compromise a girl’s virtue. Nanna defies him and falls in love, thus setting the stage for an ongoing clash of wills.

As Nanna watches her beloved country torn apart by terrorism, she grieves for the French targeted by the fellagha and for the Arabs they slaughter because they are seen as pro-French. Ultimately, Nanna watches in anguish as the French generals, betrayed by De Gaulle, make a last stand for a French Algeria before laying down their arms.

In the end Nanna’s family, like all the other French settlers, must choose between the suitcase and the grave.

Says the author, “Five years ago, I began to write down funny stories from the years my family lived in the North African country of Algeria. Childhood reminiscences, which, in time, unleashed a flow of memories shared, I know, by each and every one of the French colonials who also survived these times—a Pandora's Box bursting with the brutal events of the war of independence, occasionally brimming with bitterness, but also overflowing with unconditional love for a sensuous land and its unassuming people. An upbringing such as mine is a lesson in emotional survival. Such is the human spirit that it yearns to find a new ‘normal,’ even amid constant danger.”

Danielle A. Dahl hails from a family of fourth generation French settlers in Algeria. Born and raised in Constantine, she came of age during the Algerian War of Independence. A week before Algeria celebrated self-rule and just before Danielle turned eighteen, she and her family fled their home and took refuge in France. Eight years later, she moved to the United States, where she studied commercial art. She and her husband Walter live in South Carolina. You can find Danielle on the Web at www.dadahl.com.

Sirocco is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com. After January 15, it will also be available in eBook and print editions on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, and Amazon Japan. Bookstores can order wholesale through Ingram, Baker & Taylor or by contacting info@coffeetownpress.com. Libraries can also order through Follett Library Services or Midwest Library Services.

ABOUT Coffeetown Press—Based in Seattle, Washington, Coffeetown Press has been publishing the finest fiction and nonfiction since 2005.

 
 
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