Cultural Identity in Arabic Novels of Immigration: A Poetics of Return
Cultural Identity in Arabic Novels of Immigration:
A Poetics of Return offers a new perspective of migration studies that views the concept of migration in Arabic as inherently embracing the notion of return.
Starting the study with the significance of the Islamic hijra as the quintessential migrant narrative in Arabic culture, Elmeligi offers readings of Arabic narratives as early as Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy ibn Yaqzan and as recent as Miral Al-Tahawy’s 2010 Brooklyn Heights, and as varied as Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz’s short story adaptation of the ancient Egyptian Tale of Sinuhe and Yemeni novelist Mohammed Abdl Wali’s They Die Strangers, including novels that have not been translated in English before, such as Sonallah Ibrahim’s Amrikanli and Suhayl Idris’ The Latin Quarter.
To contextualize these narratives, Elmeligi employs studies of cultural identity and their features that are most impacted by migration.
In this study, Elmeligi analyzes the different manifestations of return, whether physical or psychological, commenting not only on the decisions that the characters take in the novels,but also the narrative choices that the writers make, thus viewing narrativity as a form of performativity of cultural identity as well.
The book addresses fresh angles of migration studies, identity theory, and Arabic literary analysis that are of interest to scholars and students.
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