Immigrant Narratives: Orientalism and Cultural Translation in Arab American and Arab British…

Paperback | January 2, 2014

byWail S. Hassan

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Since the work of Edward Said first appeared, countless studies have shown the ways in which Western writers - sometimes unwittingly - participate in the oversimplified East/West dichotomy of Orientalism. Yet no study has considered how writers from the so-called Orient approach this idea. Awide-ranging survey of the vast and diverse world of Anglophone Arab literature, Immigrant Narratives examines the complex ways in which Arab emigres contend with, resist, and participate in the problems of Orientalism. Hassan's account begins in the early twentieth century, as he considers the pioneering Lebanese American writers, Ameen Rihani and Kahlil Gibran. The former's seminal novel, The Book of Khalid sought to fuse Arabic and European literary traditions in search of a civilizational synthesis, whereas thelatter found success by mixing Hindu, Christian, mystical, and English Romantic ideas into a popular spiritualism. Hassan then considers Arab immigrant life-writing, ranging from autobiographies by George Haddad and Abraham Rihbany to memoirs of exile by the Egyptian-born Leila Ahmed and Palestinianrefugees like Fawaz Turki and Edward Said. Hassan considers issues of representation in looking to how Arab immigrant writers like Ramzi Salti and Rabih Alameddine use homosexuality to reflect on Arab typecasting. Ahdaf Soueif's fiction reflects her growing awareness of the politics of reception ofAnglophone Arab women writers while Leila Aboulela's fiction, inspired by an immigrant Islamic perspective, depicts the predicament of the Muslim minority in Britain. Drawing upon postcolonial, translation, and minority discourse theory, Immigrant Narratives investigates how key writers have described their immigrant experiences, acting as mediators and interpreters between cultures, and how they have forged new identities in their adopted countries.

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Since the work of Edward Said first appeared, countless studies have shown the ways in which Western writers - sometimes unwittingly - participate in the oversimplified East/West dichotomy of Orientalism. Yet no study has considered how writers from the so-called Orient approach this idea. Awide-ranging survey of the vast and diverse w...

Wail S. Hassan is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Tayeb Salih: Ideology and the Craft of Fiction, co-editor of Approaches to Teaching the Works of Naguib Mahfouz, and translator of Abdelfattah Kilito's Thou Shalt Not Speak My Language.

other books by Wail S. Hassan

Tayeb Salih: Ideology And The Craft Of Fiction
Tayeb Salih: Ideology And The Craft Of Fiction

Hardcover|Nov 30 2003

$59.95 online$63.00list price
Format:PaperbackDimensions:278 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:January 2, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199354979

ISBN - 13:9780199354979

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. The Rise of Arab American Literature2. The Gibran Phenomenon3. The Emergence of Autobiography4. The Retreat of Cultural Translation5. Exilic Memoirs6. Academic Itineraries7. Postcolonial Translation8. Muslim Immigrant Fiction9. Queering OrientalismConclusionNotesWorks CitedIndex