Abstract

This article presents an analysis of the Moroccan writer Leila Abouzeid’s Rujuʿ ila al-tufula (1993; Return to Childhood: The Memoir of a Modern Moroccan Woman, 1998) through the prism of relational theories of autobiography. It exposes narrative strategies of voice and language to bring out the autobiographical subject’s struggle to identify with and against authority figures while forging her own voice. It highlights Abouzeid’s mother’s powerful presence voicing indigenous and traditional perspectives and the father’s silent (and silenced) voice, despite his patriarchal dominance. It unfolds the dynamics of “giving voice” to Abouzeid’s illiterate mother and grandmother while challenging the content and principles underlying their utterances. These dynamics are further complicated by her father’s formative yet problematic political stances. The final section discusses Abouzeid’s engagement with tensions triggered by colonial encounters and postcolonial nation building.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9579
Print ISSN
1552-5864
Pages
pp. 179-198
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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