Marguerite Taosoriginal name Marie-Louise Amrouche, also called Marguerite Taos (b. March 4, 1913, Tunis [now in Tunisia]--d. April 2, 1976, Saint-Michel-l'Observatoire, Fr.)
Kabyle singer and writer. Amrouche was born after the family had moved from Algeria to Tunisia to escape persecution following their conversion to Roman Catholicism. Despite this exile, both she and her brother Jean returned to Algeria for extended visits. Through her mother's influence she became interested in the rich oral traditions of the Kabyle Berber people. In 1934 she attended school in Tunis, and in the following year she went to France to study. Starting in 1936, with Jean and her mother, Amrouche collected and began to interpret Kabyle songs.
Amrouche's first novel, Jacinthe noire (1947; "Black Hyacinth"), is one of the earliest ever published in French by a North African woman writer. It recounts the story of an "uncivilized" young Tunisian girl who is sent to a French pension for studies. Differences in life-style, attitudes, and experiences set her apart, limning the novel's themes of exile, prejudice, and rupture. A second novel, Rue des tambourins(1960; "Street of the Tabors"), describes the protagonist's sense of marginality and owes a great deal to its author's recollections of her childhood in Tunis.