restricted access Multiplying Women's Voices: Writing across Language Boundaries in Leila Abouzeid's The Last Chapter
Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Leila Abouzeid's novel Al-Faṣl al-akhīr [The Last Chapter] subverts traditional education narratives that recount a young male narrator's progress through formal education. In its place, this text offers readers a glimpse into the world of Aisha, a successful Moroccan career woman whose erudition and skill in Arabic serve as an example to others. In this article, I argue that Aisha's nontraditional approach to "educating" those around her serves as a necessary lens through which to understand this novel's engagement with questions of language and gender. Through metalinguistic commentary, extensive use of Moroccan dialect, and a variety of narrative voices, The Last Chapter contests the monopoly of formal education, and male speakers, on "correct" language use and knowledge production. Through its unconventional approach to education, this text centers and amplifies women's voices and broadens the means of knowledge production to include more women's perspectives.


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