Paula Jacques, the Cairo-born French novelist of Egyptian Jewish descent, has long been a lively presence on the Paris literary scene.
Born Paula Abadi in 1949, she moved to France as a teenager, after rebelling against the “regimentation” of a “Marxist kibbutz” in Israel during a short stay there. Less regimented, although doubtless just as rigorous, France’s literary world has made Jacques into a hard-working guest on frequent radio and TV programs, and reserves for her an honored place on the jury of the prestigious literary award, le prix Femina.
Jacques’s novels, of which “Light of My Eye” appeared last year in English translation from Holmes & Meier Publishers, tend to focus on the Egyptian Jewish milieu of her childhood. Jacques’ new novel, “Kayro Jacobi: on the Brink of Oblivion,” just published by Les éditions Mercure de France, is no exception.