This is the first study of its kind to tackle the postcolonial in Arabic fiction. In ten chapters, a lengthy preface and an extensive bibliography, the author discusses and questions a large number of novels that demonstrate cultural diversity and richness in the Arab World. Using current methodologies and discourse analysis, the author highlights engagements with postcolonial issues that relate to identity formation, the modern nation-state, individualism, nationalism, gender and class demarcations, and micro-politics. With this intention, the book locates Arabic narrative in the mainstream of world literature, and establishes the modern Arabic novel in the contemporary literary critical world of postcolonial studies. The author's lucid style and thorough knowledge of the field should recommend the book to students and scholars alike, as it comes in time to meet the needs of the academy for solid writing on Islam and the Arabs.
Muhsin Jassim al-Musawi is a leading literary critic in the Arab World, with many publications in Arabic and English. He has taught widely, and was offered the Professorship in Arabic at the American University of Cairo,2002. He teaches at the American University in Sharjah, and is currently appointed as the Senior Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in the City of New York.
Densely written and closely argued, this book surveys well over a hundred contemporary Arabic novels from the standpoint of postcolonial literary theory....this is a basic work for Arabic and comparative literature collections.
W. L. Hanaway, CHOICE, 2003