PERSONAL: Born in France.
ADDRESSES: Home—Vienna, Austria. Office—Le Monde Diplopmatique, 1 Avenue Stephen-Pichon, 75013 Paris, France. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Delacorte Press, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
CAREER: Journalist and author. Correspondent for Radio France Internationale.
AWARDS, HONORS: Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best work in translation, 2005, for The Shadows of Ghadames.
Ombres de Ghadamès, translated by Catherine Temerson as The Shadows of Ghadames, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to Le Monde.
SIDELIGHTS: A journalist by profession, Joëlle Stolz is a contributor to the Paris newspaper Le Monde, for which she covers political and social topics pertaining to the Middle East and Africa. The English translation of the French-born writer's first novel, The Shadows of Ghadames, won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award in 2005. The novel examines the limited lifestyle options for upper-class women in nineteenth-century Libya. Twelve-year-old Malika is growing up in a sheltered world where women rarely leave home and communicate with one another via the connected rooftops of their homes. As she faces marriage, Malika realizes this virtual imprisonment will never satisfy her. She wants to be able to read like her brother and travel like her father. When the older women in Malika's house bring in a wounded fugitive, both the fugitive and Malika learn from one another that women exert more power in their society than either might have believed.
To quote Susan P. Bloom in Horn Book, Stolz's story "revolves around changing visions of people and places." School Library Journal correspondent Kathleen Isaacs wrote that "this quiet story is notable for the intimate picture of the traditional Muslim world that it conveys," while a Kirkus Reviews critic liked the novel's "distinct cast of characters" who collectively display "unexpected intelligence and compassion." Hope Morrison, writing in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, praised The Shadows of Ghadames as "a beautifully written story about a seldom-described world," adding: "Young readers … may appreciate this window into another girl's experience in a faraway time and place."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2005, review of The Shadows of Ghadames, p. 774.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November, 2004, Hope Morrison, review of The Shadows of Ghadames, p. 147.
Horn Book, January-February, 2005, Susan P. Bloom, review of The Shadows of Ghadames, p. 98.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2004, review of The Shadows of Ghadames, p. 970.
School Library Journal, November, 2004, Kathleen Isaacs, review of The Shadows of Ghadames, p. 154.