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The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English

The Politics of Anglo Arab and Arab American Literature and Culture

Edited by Nouri Gana

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19 stimulating new essays look at the Anglo-Arab novel from 1911 to the present day

Opening up the field of diasporic Anglo-Arab literature to critical debate, this reference companion spans from the first Arab novel in 1911 right up to the present day, focusing on the resurgence of the Anglo-Arabic novel in the last 20 years. The combination of classroom-friendly essays, to guide students through the set novels on Anglo-Arab literature courses, and sophisticated critical analyses of the major Anglo-Arab novelists for advanced scholars make this the ultimate, one-stop resource.

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Notes on the Contributors
Introduction: The Intellectual History and Contemporary Significance of the Arab Novel in English, Nouri Gana
Part I: Constellations: Modernity, Empire and Postcoloniality
1. The Rise of the Arab American Novel: Ameen Rihani's 'The Book of Khalid', Waïl S. Hassan
2. Beyond Orientalism: Khalid, the Secular City, and the Transcultural Self, Geoffrey Nash
3. The Incestuous (Post)Colonial: Soueif's 'Map of Love' and the Second Birth of the Egyptian Novel in English
Shaden M. Tageldin
4. Drinking, Gambling and Making Merry: Waguih Ghali's Search for Cosmopolitan Agency, Deborah A. Starr
5. Mobile Belonging? The Global 'Given' in the Work of Etel Adnan, Mary N. Layoun
6. Burning, Memory and Postcolonial Agency in Laila Lalami’s 'Hope and other Dangerous Pursuits', Ahmed Idrissi Alami
7. Zenga Zenga and Bunga Bunga: The Novels of Hisham Matar and a Critique of Gadhafi's Libya, Christopher Micklethwait
Part II: Force-fields: Ethnic Ties and Transnational Solidarities
8. In Search of Andalusia: Reconfiguring Arabness in Diana Abu-Jaber's 'Crescent', Nouri Gana
9. Europe and Its Others: The Novels of Jamal Mahjoub, Jopi Nyman
10. Space, Embodiment, Identity and Resistance in the Novels of Fadia Faqir, Lindsey Moore
11. The Arab Canadian Novel and the Rise of Rawi Hage, F. Elizabeth Dahab
12. The Arab Australian Novel: Situating Diasporic and Multicultural Literature, Saadi Nikro
13. Identity, Transformation and the Anglophone Arab Novel, Maysa Abou-Youssef Hayward
14. Rabih Alameddine's 'I, the Divine': A Druze Novel as World Literature?, Michelle Hartman
Part III: Prospects/Challenges: Authority, Pedagogy and the Market Industry
15. Invisible Ethnic: Mona Simpson and the Space of the Ethnic Literature Market, Mara Naaman
16. The Challenges of Orientalism: Teaching about Islam and Masculinity in Leila Aboulela's 'The Translator', Brendan Smyth
17. Teaching from Cover to Cover: Arab Women's Novels in the Classroom, Heather Hoyt
18. Perils and Pitfalls of Marketing the Arab Novel in English, Samia Serageldin

About the Author

Nouri Gana is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature & Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. He is the author of Signifying Loss: Toward a Poetics of Narrative Mourning (2011) and editor of The Making of the Tunisian Revolution: Contexts, Architects, Prospects (EUP, 2013) and The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English (Edinburgh University Press, 2013).


The publication of The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel is significant, and for at least two reasons of equal importance. Firstly, as writers of Arab origins choose, for a variety of reasons, to pen their works in languages other than Arabic--in this case English, their particular contributions to world literature need to be assessed by a broader readership. Secondly, this collection, carefully edited by Nouri Gana, brings together in a single volume the work of some of the very best comparative literature scholars, both well established and emerging, who have chosen to specialize in this increasingly important trans-cultural context. The essays are all marked by both their theoretical rigour and the clearly expounded close readings of the texts and authors upon which they focus (exemplified by, but by no means limited to, Gana's own introductory chapter). The Companion is valuable addition to the relatively small but growing library of critical works devoted to this particular subfield of comparative literature studies.

- Roger Allen, Professor of Arabic & Comparative Literature Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania

A much needed and welcome anthology. Gana has collected an excellent range of essays of various critical approaches, all of them readable and insightful, as are his contextual contributions. Highly recommended for classroom use.

- Steven Salaita, Associate Professor, English, Virginia Tech

This large anthology constitutes a timely and significant contribution to this subfield of comparative literature. It establishes a genealogy of Anglo-Arab literature, which is neither linear nor final, linking novelists from various periods and places together into a constellation, and establishes a nuanced and transformative vision of the tradition. It also invites further theoretical reflections, in particular regarding ethnicity, comparative literature, and the form of the novel.

- Middle Eastern Literatures

The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English is expansive, comprehensive, and unique. To date, it is the only collection dedicated solely to the study of the Anglophone Arab novel. In its geographical scope, it is far-reaching: its chapters cover Arab American, Arab Canadian, Arab Australian, and Arab European output by writers rigorously studied and theorized, such as Ameen Rihani and Ahdaf Soueif; pedagogically popular, such as Diana Abu Jaber and Laila Aboulela; literary but less established, such as Hisham Matar and Rawi Hage; and little theorized and little studied, such as Mona Simpson.

- Studies in the Novel

The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English charts the development of the Anglophone Arab novel at the turn of the twentieth century, continues throughout the anti-colonial and nationalist periods, the ensuing successive waves of Arab immigration to Europe and the United States, and ends with the current period…Covering the full spectrum of Anglophone Arab fiction is an ambitious project, especially when one bears in mind the abundant output of Anglophone Arab authors since 1911; nevertheless, this edited collection successfully manages to illustrate the richness and uniqueness of Anglophone Arab fiction.

- The Journal of Arabic Literature

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