Fernand iveton

Algeria’s War of Independence still leaves festering wounds, two new novels reveal

In France, even the car horns yelled about Algeria. A five-beat klaxon blast — three short, two long — signalled Al-gé-rie Fran-çaise. In the early 1990s, I slunk into a rally held by Jean-Marie Le Pen in Nice to find that for the ranks of cropped, thickset pieds noirs in leather jackets, the bloodbaths and betrayals three decades back in Oran, Constantine or Algiers drove what they thought and how they voted. A generation later, Algerian migrants or returnees — Arab, Kabyle, European — now have second- and third-generation families. But the atrocity-littered independence war of 1954-62, and its gruesome aftermath, remain festering wounds. France, as President Macron put it