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Arab Voices in Diaspora

Critical Perspectives on Anglophone Arab Literature

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Edited by Layla Al Maleh

Arab Voices in Diaspora offers a wide-ranging overview and an insightful study of the field of anglophone Arab literature produced across the world. The first of its kind, it chronicles the development of this literature from its inception at the turn of the past century until the post 9/11 era. The book sheds light not only on the historical but also on the cultural and aesthetic value of this literary production, which has so far received little scholarly attention. It also seeks to place anglophone Arab literary works within the larger nomenclature of postcolonial, emerging, and ethnic literature, as it finds that the authors are haunted by the same ‘hybrid’, ‘exilic’, and ‘diasporic’ questions that have dogged their fellow postcolonialists. Issues of belonging, loyalty, and affinity are recognized and dealt with in the various essays, as are the various concerns involved in cultural and relational identification. The contributors to this volume come from different national backgrounds and share in examining the nuances of this emerging literature.
Authors discussed include Elmaz Abinader, Diana Abu-Jaber, Leila Aboulela, Leila Ahmed, Rabih Alameddine, Edward Atiyah, Shaw Dallal, Ibrahim Fawal, Fadia Faqir, Khalil Gibran, Suheir Hammad, Loubna Haikal, Nada Awar Jarrar, Jad El Hage, Lawrence Joseph, Mohja Kahf, Jamal Mahjoub, Hisham Matar, Dunya Mikhail, Samia Serageldine, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ameen Rihani, Mona Simpson, Ahdaf Soueif, and Cecile Yazbak.
Contributors: Victoria M. Abboud, Diya M. Abdo, Samaa Abdurraqib, Marta Cariello, Carol Fadda–Conrey, Cristina Garrigós, Lamia Hammad, Yasmeen Hanoosh, Waïl S. Hassan, Richard E. Hishmeh, Syrine Hout, Layla Al Maleh, Brinda J. Mehta, Dawn Mirapuri, Geoffrey P. Nash, Boulus Sarru, Fadia Fayez Suyoufie

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Edited by Michael Bishop

Thirty voices in the feminine offers a considerable range of critical studies devoted to thirty-four contemporary women writers from France. Québec and Acadia: Beauvoir, Ernaux, Yourcenar, Hébert, Duras, Sarraute, Maillet, Cixous, Chawaf, Albiach, Redonnet, Atlan, Sallenave, Monette, Le Dantec, Tellermann, Risset, Hyvrard, Detambel, Reyes, Lejeune, Alonso, Farhoud, Pelletier, Billetdoux, Teyssiéras, Zins, Turcotte, Sebbar, Nimier, Mailhot, D'Amour, Hinschberger, Namiand.
The authors of the studies, from Canada, USA, England and Holland, offer a variety of critical approaches to the work at hand; textual alertness or close analysis frequently is in evidence, however, whether discussion tends to the sociological, the psychological, the interdisciplinary or the stylistic, and all the studies reveal of necessity a profound belief in the great intrinsic and extrinsic value of the literature dealt with, the pertinence of its swarming and challenging feminine consciousness, the power of its often radically rethought form and mode.

Bodies and Voices

The Force-Field of Representation and Discourse in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies

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Edited by Merete Falck Borch, Eva Rask Knudsen, Martin Leer and Bruce Clunies Ross

A wide-ranging collection of essays centred on readings of the body in contemporary literary and socio-anthropological discourse, from slavery and rape to female genital mutilation, from clothing, ocular pornography, voice, deformation and transmutation to the imprisoned, dismembered, remembered, abducted or ghostly body, in Africa, Australasia and the Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, Great Britain and Eire

Of Minstrelsy and Masks

The Legacy of Ezenwa-Ohaeto in Nigerian Writing

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Edited by Christine Matzke, Aderemi Raji-Oyelade and Geoffrey V. Davis

This collection is dedicated to a distinguished scholar and writer who for a quarter of a century wrote consistently on African literature and the arts and was a major voice in Nigerian literary circles. Ezenwa–Ohaeto made a mark in contemporary Nigerian poetry by committing pidgin to written form and, by so doing, introducing different creative patterns. He also saw himself as a ‘minstrel’, as someone who wanted to read, express and enact his work before an audience. First and foremost, however, Ezenwa–Ohaeto was someone who ‘un-masked’ ideas and meanings hidden in the folds of literary works and made them available to an international academic public. With his outstanding work on Chinua Achebe, he influenced the reception of African literary biography. His networks and connections were extensive and wide-ranging, and they are partly reflected in the essays, creative writing and personal notes assembled in this volume. In their various modes and expressions, the contributions included here constitute a tribute to Ezenwa–Ohaeto’s many talents and achievements. As an extension of Ezenwa–Ohaeto’s legacy, they expand on various aspects of minstrelsy and the un/masking of texts in a Nigerian and broader African context.
The book is divided into six sections. “In Memoriam” contains personal tributes by long-standing colleagues, mentors and friends. “Poetry and Fiction” collects the voices of three generations of Nigerian writing from the 1960s to the present day, followed by poetic and pictorial insights into the domestic and social life of the scholar and family man. Section Four comprises two interviews, while Sections Five and Six are devoted to critical evaluations of Ezenwa–Ohaeto’s work and to contemporary perspectives on Nigerian literature respectively.

The Crafting of Chaos

Narrative Structure in Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel and The Diviners

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Hildegard Kuester

In this study of the Canadian novelist Margaret Laurence, recent narratological models provide the theoretical framework for a textual analysis that aims at complementing previous thematic critiques. The chief focus is on The Stone Angel and The Diviners, which the conclusion then presents in the context of the other novels in Laurence's Manawaka cycle. Consideration of the published works is rounded off with genetic comparison of the novelist's typescript drafts and an evaluation of the manuscript notes kept in the archives of McMaster and York Universities.
The central structural principle of The Stone Angel is its dovetailing of past and present scenes. Temporal arrangement, reflecting the frequency and duration of Hagar's memories, reveals the hold of memory over the central character and her attempts to suppress her fear of mortality. Hagar-as-narrator manipulates character-presentation and description to her own advantage. In a basically oppositional structure, her need for control is reflected in the neat ordering of the narrative. The verbal texture of the novel serves to establish a value system that insists on the superiority of imported culture over Western Canadian forms.
The Diviners shares a number of narrative similarities with The Stone Angel, but the latter's formal rigidity has yielded, by the time Laurence writes her last novel, to the concept of multiplicity - characters, time planes, perspectives and narrative voices (including metafictional commentaries). Textual coherence is secured via narrative strategies (including typography, generational paradigms, repetition, parallelism, intertextuality, and tropological patterning) that render the novel readable and present experience as ordered in a time of cultural flux and personal crisis.

Entangled Subjects

Indigenous/Australian Cross-Cultures of Talk, Text, and Modernity

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Michèle Grossman

Winner of the 2015 ASAL Walter McCrae Russell Award

Indigenous Australian cultures were long known to the world mainly from the writing of anthropologists, ethnographers, historians, missionaries, and others. Indigenous Australians themselves have worked across a range of genres to challenge and reconfigure this textual legacy, so that they are now strongly represented through their own life-narratives of identity, history, politics, and culture. Even as Indigenous-authored texts have opened up new horizons of engagement with Aboriginal knowledge and representation, however, the textual politics of some of these narratives – particularly when cross-culturally produced or edited – can remain haunted by colonially grounded assumptions about orality and literacy.
Through an examination of key moments in the theorizing of orality and literacy and key texts in cross-culturally produced Indigenous life-writing, Entangled Subjects explores how some of these works can sustain, rather than trouble, the frontier zone established by modernity in relation to ‘talk’ and ‘text’. Yet contemporary Indigenous vernaculars offer radical new approaches to how we might move beyond the orality–literacy ‘frontier’, and how modernity and the a-modern are productively entangled in the process.

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Edited by Gordon Collier, Marc Delrez, Anne Fuchs and Bénédicte Ledent

This collection ranges far and wide, as befits the personality and accomplishments of the dedicatee, Geoffrey V. Davis, German studies and exile literature scholar, postcolonialist (if there are ‘specialties’, then Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, Black Britain), journal and book series editor.... Themes covered include publishing in Africa, charisma in African drama, the rediscovery of apartheid-era South African literature, Truth and Reconciliation commissions, South African cinema, children’s theatre in England and Eritrea, and the Third Chimurenga in literary anthologies. Surveyed are texts from Botswana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Writers discussed (or interviewed: Angela Makholwa) include Ayi Kwei Armah, Seydou Badian, J.M. Coetzee, Chielo Zona Eze, Ruth First, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Bessie Head, Ian Holding, Kavevangua Kahengua, Njabulo Ndebele, Lara Foot Newton, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o/Micere Githae Mugo, Sol Plaatje, Ken Saro–Wiwa, Mongane Wally Serote, Wole Soyinka, and Ed¬gar Wallace, together with essays on the artist Sokari Douglas Camp and the filmmaker Rayda Jacobs. Because Geoff’s commitment to literature has always been ‘hands-on’, the book closes with a selection of poems and an entertaining travelogue/memoir.