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Literature > Middle Eastern Literature

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Mahmoud Darwish Cover

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Mahmoud Darwish

The Poet's Art and His Nation

by Khaled Mattawa

In Mahmoud Darwish: The Poet’s Art and His Nation, Mattawa pays tribute to one of the most celebrated and well-read poets of our era. With detailed knowledge of Arabic verse and a firm grounding in Palestinian history, Mattawa explores the ways in which Darwish’s aesthetics have played a crucial role in shaping and maintaining Palestinian identity and culture through decades of warfare, attrition, exile, and land confiscation. Mattawa chronicles the evolution of his poetry, from a young poet igniting resistance in occupied land to his decades in exile where his work grew in ambition and scope. In doing so, Mattawa reveals Darwish’s verse to be both rooted to its place of longing and to transcend place, as it reaches for the universal and the human.

The Mantle Odes Cover

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The Mantle Odes

Arabic Praise Poems to the Prophet Muhammad

Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

Three of the most renowned praise poems to the Prophet, the mantle odes span the arc of Islamic history from Muhammad's lifetime, to the medieval Mamluk period, to the modern colonial era. Over the centuries, they have informed the poetic and religious life of the Arab and Islamic worlds. Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych places her original translations of the poems within the odes' broader cultural context. By highlighting their transformative power as speech acts and their ritual function as gift exchanges, this book not only demonstrates the relevance of these poems to contemporary scholarship but also reveals their power and beauty to the modern reader.

Masculine Identity in the Fiction of the Arab East Since 1967 Cover

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Masculine Identity in the Fiction of the Arab East Since 1967

Samira Aghacy

Through a series of close readings of twenty contemporary Arabic novels, Aghacy presents a mosaic of masculinities that challenges the generally held view of an essentialized archetypal Arab man and mirrors a contested vision of manliness where men figure in diverse sociocultural environments. This groundbreaking work reveals the volatile nature of masculinity and its inextricability from femininity.

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A Millennium of Turkish Literature

A Concise History

Talat S. Halman and edited by Jayne L Warner

A Millennium of Turkish Literature tells the story of how literature evolved and grew in stature on the Turkish mainland over the course of a thousand years. The book features numerous poems and extracts, most in fluid translations by Halman. This volume provides a concise, but captivating, introduction to Turkish literature and, with selections from its extensive "Further Reading" section, serves as an invaluable guide to Turkish literature for course adoption.

Modern Arab American Fiction Cover

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Modern Arab American Fiction

A Reader's Guide

Steven Salaita

Exploring the works of such best-selling authors as Rabih Alameddine, Mohja Kahf, Laila Halaby, Diana Abu-Jaber, Alicia Erian, and Randa Jarrar, Salaita highlights the development of each author’s writing and how each has influenced Arab American fiction. He examines common themes including the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Lebanese Civil War of 1975–90, the representation and practice of Islam in the United States, social issues such as gender and national identity in Arab cultures, and the various identities that come with being Arab American. Combining the accessibility of a primer with in-depth critical analysis, Modern Arab American Fiction is suitable for a broad audience, those unfamiliar with the subject area, as well as scholars of the literature.

Moroccan Noir Cover

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Moroccan Noir

Police, Crime, and Politics in Popular Culture

Jonathan Smolin

Facing rising demands for human rights and the rule of law, the Moroccan state fostered new mass media and cultivated more positive images of the police, once the symbol of state repression, reinventing the relationship between citizen and state for a new era. Jonathan Smolin examines popular culture and mass media to understand the changing nature of authoritarianism in Morocco over the past two decades. Using neglected Arabic sources including crime tabloids, television movies, true-crime journalism, and police advertising, Smolin sheds new light on politics and popular culture in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Native Tongue, Stranger Talk

The Arabic and French Literary Landscapes of Lebanon

by Michelle Hartman

Can a reality lived in Arabic be expressed in French? Can a French-language literary work speak Arabic? In Native Tongue, Stranger Talk Hartman shows how Lebanese women authors use spoken Arabic to disrupt literary French, with sometimes surprising results. Challenging the common claim that these writers express a Francophile or “colonized” consciousness, this book demonstrates how Lebanese women writers actively question the political and cultural meaning of writing in French in Lebanon. Hartman argues that their innovative language inscribes messages about society into their novels by disrupting class-status hierarchies, narrow ethno-religious identities, and rigid gender roles. Because the languages of these texts reflect the crucial issues of their times, Native Tongue, Stranger Talk guides the reader through three key periods of Lebanese history: the French Mandate and Early Independence, the Civil War, and the postwar period. Three novels are discussed in each time period, exposing the contours of how the authors “write Arabic in French” to invent new literary languages.

Of Irony and Empire Cover

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Of Irony and Empire

Islam, the West, and the Transcultural Invention of Africa

Of Irony and Empire is a dynamic, thorough examination of Muslim writers from former European colonies in Africa who have increasingly entered into critical conversations with the metropole. Focusing on the period between World War I and the present, “the age of irony,” this book explores the political and symbolic invention of Muslim Africa and its often contradictory representations. Through a critical analysis of irony and resistance in works by writers who come from nomadic areas around the Sahara—Mustapha Tlili (Tunisia), Malika Mokeddem (Algeria), Cheikh Hamidou Kane (Senegal), and Tayeb Salih (Sudan)—Laura Rice offers a fresh perspective that accounts for both the influence of the Western, instrumental imaginary, and the Islamic, holistic one.

Reading Arab Women's Autobiographies Cover

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Reading Arab Women's Autobiographies

Shahrazad Tells Her Story

By Nawar Al-Hassan Golley

Authors of autobiographies are always engaged in creating a “self” to present to their readers. This process of self-creation raises a number of intriguing questions: why and how does anyone choose to present herself or himself in an autobiography? Do women and men represent themselves in different ways and, if so, why? How do differences in culture affect the writing of autobiography in various parts of the world? This book tackles these questions through a close examination of Arab women’s autobiographical writings. Nawar Al-Hassan Golley applies a variety of western critical theories, including Marxism, colonial discourse, feminism, and narrative theory, to the autobiographies of Huda Shaarawi, Fadwa Tuqan, Nawal el-Saadawi, and others to demonstrate what these critical methodologies can reveal about Arab women’s writing. At the same time, she also interrogates these theories against the chosen texts to see how adequate or appropriate these models are for analyzing texts from other cultures. This two-fold investigation sheds important new light on how the writers or editors of Arab women’s autobiographies have written, documented, presented, and organized their texts.

Reading Orientalism Cover

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Reading Orientalism

Said and the Unsaid

Daniel Martin Varisco

Drawing on the extensive discussion of the late Edward Said's work, this new study addresses the ambitious intellectual history of the debates that Orientalism has sparked in several disciplines, including its reception among Arab and European scholars.

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