Maïssa Bey (Algeria, 1950) is the pseudonym under which Samia Benameur writes and publishes. She studied literature in Algeria, and French in Sidi-Bel-Abbès and works as a teacher of French. In 2000, she established the women’s organisation Paroles et écritures, which organises writing studios and writers’ meetings, and which, in 2005, set up a library. Although her mother tongue is Arabic, Bey writes in French. Since her debut novel Au commencement était la mer (1996), she has published numerous novels, theatre pieces, essays and poems. Her work has also been awarded prizes: Cette fille-là (2001) received the Marguerite Audoux prize, and in 2005 Bey was awarded Le Grand Prix des Libraires Algériens for her entire literary oeuvre.
For citybooks, she will write a city portrait of Ypres in the spring of 2015.