Born in Algeria, Rachid Boudjedra has been described as "the greatest living writer from the Maghreb." A journalist, teacher, lecturer, and militant leftist who has served in the Algerian resistance movement, Boudjedra established himself as a leading writer of the French language with the publication of his first novel, La Repudiation, in 1969. However, like Ngugi wa Thiong'o of Kenya, he was driven by nationalist fervor and dissatisfaction with the colonial language and its literature to renounce the use of French in 1981 and to turn to his native Arabic as his primary medium of expression. Boudjedra's work is perhaps best understood in terms of his identification with questions about Arab adaptation to, and identity in, the modern world. The novel La Repudiation marked a turning point in Algerian literature by breaking with the past and transgressing against such taboos as politics, sex, and religion. The themes introduced by La Repudiation were intensified in his subsequent novels. Topographie Ideale pour une Aggression Caracterisee (1975) confronts two cultures by reversing the Western perspective and denouncing the violence of modern life. L'Escargot Entete (1977) presents a political fable on the nature of bureaucracy while bringing to light societal prejudices, the small-mindedness of Islam, and the arbitrariness of patriarchal values. Les Annes de la Nostalgie (1979) adopts a fantastic, parodistic mode to reexamine the myths of Arab-Muslim society and culture when faced with the intrusion of the modern world. Le Vainqueur de Coupe (1981) and Le Demantelement (1982) are an intense meditation on the mysteries of history and the demand for subjectivity as a fundamental expression of freedom and truth.