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Amara Lakhous was born in Algiers in 1970. He has a degree in philosophy from the University of Algiers and another in cultural anthropology from the University la Sapienza, Rome. Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio (Europa Editions, 2008) was awarded Italy's prestigious Flaiano prize and was described by the Seattle Times as a "wonderfully offbeat novel."
"French and British literature have long been enriched by the biculturalism of authors like Tahar Ben Jelloun, Amin Maalouf, Gaitam Malkani and Monica Ali. With talented new writers like Lakhous...Italy is closing the gap."--"The New York Times" "Do we have an Italian Camus on our hands? Just possibly . . . No recent Italian novel so elegantly and directly confronts the 'new Italy.'"--"Philadelphia Inquirer" "The author's real subject [in "Clash of..."] is the heave and crush of modern, polyglot Rome, and he renders the jabs of everyday speech with such precision that the novel feels exclaimed rather than written."--"The New Yorker" "What's memorable about Lakhous' "Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio" is what he shows us of an often inward-looking nation confronting the teeming vibrancy of multicultural life."--"NPR's Fresh Air" "["Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio "is] a satirical, enigmatic take on the racial tensions that afflict present-day Europe."--"Brooklyn Rail"