Abstract

This essay considers the recent production of texts in English that construct and rely on repeated and homogenized images of Muslim women, focusing on a translated text but arguing for its contextualization within the market of popular memoir. Taking the translation of Rajaa Alsanea's Banat al-Riyadh into English as a case study, I argue that revisions made by press and author to my translation assimilated it to chick-lit generic conventions in the anglophone marketplace, muting the gender politics and situatedness of multiple kinds of Arabic that acted, in the original novel, as a critique of the Saudi system. Paratextual framing of the marketed book and translational choices emphasized the fiction as a writing of "experience," bringing it closer to the memoir genre and linking it to a tradition of what I call Orientalist ethnographicism. These effects produce a work and author-figure both exotic and familiar.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9579
Print ISSN
1552-5864
Pages
pp. 149-182
Launched on MUSE
2010-09-15
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.