Much in Algeria has remained unchanged since 1962, when the country won its independence from France: the heroes of the revolution are still in power, social inequality is rife, and transparent democracy remains elusive. My dissertation studies Algerian literary works in French that challenge this condition of abeyance through their form, engagement with the political present, and utopian thinking. I analyze novels and short stories that disclose and disrupt a landscape of what I call "permanent aftermath"--a cycle of sameness in the guise of the new. These texts break out of the limiting temporalities and foundational mythologies that have held the country in a state of suspended animation, and they require new interpretive and critical frameworks for making sense of them. Far from illustrating the uniqueness of the Algerian case, these works describe an architecture of the text-nation-reader dynamic that resonates across European and postcolonial literatures, and I analyze the literary responses to aftermath they provide in dialogue with the broader discursive fields of contemporary Francophone and Postcolonial Studies. This corpus points to the continued relevance of the nation and calls us to read closely the specificity of the national context, particularly in a scholarly climate increasingly eager to replace the nation with a post- or trans-national global logic. They adumbrate alternative nationalisms that work to reignite arrested processes of decolonization in Algeria. Read closely for their artistry and with sensitivity to the connection between writers' social relations and the forms and content of their work, these texts invite us to rethink how we consume, discuss, teach and write about postcolonial literature in the twenty-first century.