Mothers and Daughters in Arab Women's Literature

The Family Frontier

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Author: Dalya Abudi
This study explores the mother-daughter relationship as the most fundamental and most intimate female relationship and as the cornerstone of Arab family life. Drawing on autobiographical and semifictional works by women writers from across the Arab world, the study offers a first-hand account of how Arab women view and experience this primary bond. The author uses both early and contemporary writings of Arab women to illuminate the traditional and evolving nature of mother-daughter relationships in Arab families and how these family dynamics reflect and influence modern Arab life. The compelling narratives demystify the institutions of family and motherhood and show the potential of mothers and daughters to transform the patriarchal family and thus the fabric of Arab society.
A groundbreaking work that fills a void in cross-cultural studies, it is of interest to scholars and students of Middle Eastern studies, women’s studies, and family studies.


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Dalya Abudi is a literary scholar and anthologist. She received her Ph.D. in Arabic language and literature from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
'... magnificent book, expected to become classic in more than one scientific fields.'
Sotirios S. Livas in Journal of Oriental and African Studies 22 (2013), 351-352.

‘The use of autobiographical and fictional work provides authenticity, originality and depth to the book. […] …a useful text for those interested in cross-cultural studies, gender studies, Middle Eastern Studies and of course thos who are interested in family studies.’
Sharonrose Sefora in Journal of International Women’s Studies 13.3 (2012), 174-175.
A groundbreaking work that fills a void in cross-cultural studies, it is of interest to scholars and students of Middle Eastern studies, women’s studies, and social studies.