Narrating Postcolonial Arab Nations : Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine book cover
1st Edition

Narrating Postcolonial Arab Nations
Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine

ISBN 9780367667405
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
252 Pages

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Book Description

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


Works Cited


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Lindsey Moore is Lecturer in Senior English Literature at Lancaster University, UK.