The word from France's run-down estates

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A remarkable book written by four young men has highlighted the reality of life on one of France's many impoverished and neglected housing estates. The work, which began as a writing project with their community worker, and which combines tragic insight with flashes of great humour, tackles issues of education, the police, drugs, prison and even the role of history among the writers and their friends. But, as Joseph Confavreux reports, perhaps the major achievement of 'Nous...La cité' ('We...the estate') is that it has taught four young men from a run-down area the power of the written word.

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