Narrating Postcolonial Arab Nations significantly enhances the interface between postcolonial literary studies and the hitherto under-studied Arab world. Lindsey Moore brings together canonical and less familiar Arab novels and memoirs from the last half century to consider colonial continuities and consequences. Literary narratives are shown to oppose repressive versions of nationalism and to track desire lines toward more hospitable nations. The literatures discussed in this book enable a deeper historical understanding of twenty-first century Arab uprisings and their aftermaths.
The book analyzes four rich sites of literary production: Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, and Palestine. Moore explores ways in which authors critique particular nation-state formations and decolonizing histories, engage the general problematic of ‘the nation’, and redefine, repurpose, and transcend national literary canons. Chapter One contrasts Egyptian literary representations of popular revolt with official revolutionary discourse. Chapter Two addresses the enduring legacy of anti-colonial violence in Algeria and the place of Albert Camus in its literature. Chapter Three uses narratives of gender violence on the Beirut front line to reveal the divisibility and intersectional identity politics of postcolonial nation-states. Chapter Four emphasizes ways in which Palestinian memoirs insist upon remembering towards a postcolonial future.
The book provides detailed analysis of literary narratives by Etel Adnan, Rabih Alameddine, Alaa al-Aswany, Rachid Boudjedra, Albert Camus, Rashid al-Daïf, Assia Djebar, Ghada Karmi, Naguib Mahfouz, Jean Said Makdisi, Edward Said, Boualem Sansal, Raja Shehadeh, Miral al-Tahawy, and Latifa al-Zayyat. It is an indispensable volume for students and scholars of Postcolonial, Arab, and World literatures.
Table of Contents
A Note on the Text
I. Postcolonial Studies and the Arab World: Towards a Critical Counterpoint
II. Postcolonial Arab Nations
III. Narrating Postcolonial Arab Nations
Chapter One. Before, After and Between the Revolutions: Desire and Death in Egypt
I. Revolution I / 1919—1952: Naguib Mahfouz, The Cairo Trilogy
II. Revolution II / 1946—1956: Latifa al-Zayyat, The Open Door
III. Between the Acts: Mahfouz, Miramar
IV. (Counter-)Revolution / After 1967: Miral al-Tahawy, Blue Aubergine
V. Death and Desire: Alaa al-Aswany, The Yacoubian Building
Chapter Two. ‘We Algerians’: National Emergencies and Alternative Genealogies
I. A Brief History of Algerian Violence: Two ‘Fanonian’ Wars
II. An Alternative Algerian Vision: Albert Camus, The First Man and ‘The Guest’
III. Unfinished Literature: Assia Djebar, Algerian White
IV. ‘Le fils naturel’: Rachid Boudjedra, The Repudiation and The Barbary Figs
V. Algerian Hospitality in the Feminine: Boualem Sansal, Harraga and Rue Darwin
Chapter Three. Gender Trauma on the Line: Lebanese War Literature
I. Taboo Subjects, Narrative Predicaments and the Front Line
II. Dissident Dismembering/Remembering: Etel Adnan, Sitt Marie Rose
III. Queerer and Queerer: Rachid al-Daïf, Passage to Dusk
IV. Gendered Space, Heteronormative Desire, Disavowed Histories
V. Rabih Alameddine, I, the Divine: A Novel in First Chapters
Chapter Four. Palestine in the Colonial Present: Ruins, Rifts and Remainders
I. Writing Palestinian Lives
II. Becoming Palestinian: Edward Said, Out of Place
III. An ‘Arab Woman’s Memoir’: Jean Said Makdisi, Teta, Mother and Me
IV. Resolution Deferred: Ghada Karmi, In Search of Fatima and Return
V. Ruins and the Rift: Raja Shehadeh, Strangers in the House, Palestinian Walks and A Rift in Time
Lindsey Moore is Lecturer in Senior English Literature at Lancaster University, UK.