Examines the effects of colonialism and independence on modern Arab autobiography written in Arabic, English and French
In memoirs, Arab writers have invoked solitude in moments of deep public involvement. Focusing on Taha Hussein, Sonallah Ibrahim, Assia Djebar, Latifa al-Zayyat, Mahmoud Darwish, Mourid Barghouti, Edward Said, Haifa Zangana, and Radwa Ashour, this book reads a range of autobiographical forms, sources, and affinities with other literatures.
Series Editor’s Foreword
A Note on Transliteration and Translation
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Literary Solitude: Autobiography, Modernity, and Independence
1 From Solitude to Stealth: Taha Hussein and Sonallah Ibrahim
2 Revolutionary Memoirs: Assia Djebar and Latifa al-Zayyat
3 Palestine Song: Mahmoud Darwish and Mourid Barghouti
4 Revolutionary Solitude: Edward Said and Najla Said
5 Dreaming of Solitude: Haifa Zangana and Alia Mamdouh
6 Tahrir Memoirs: Radwa Ashour and Mona Prince
Epilogue: Arab Literature, World Literature
About the Author
The corpus is well-chosen, germane, and spans a range of texts that have never been studied together. The chapter breakdown is extremely interesting in the way it pairs language, location and genre. The methodological framework is highly original in that it reads this multilingual Arab corpus as a complex instance of a fully embodied comparative literature. Moreover, the framing dialectic that moves between the subject's solitude/ belonging is richly productive and offers a new way of thinking about the texts and the tradition they represent."