Shérazade, 17 ans, brune, frisée, les yeux verts, the story of a teenage runaway who flees from her quiet life in a Parisian banlieue to a squat in the middle of France’s capital, is a text that constantly disrupts readers’ narrative expectations. This study aims to provide new lenses through which to understand Leïla Sebbar’s innovative novel. Shérazade’s desire for autonomy is echoed in the novel’s structural openness, making Shérazade a rich but challenging text to read and analyze. Sebbar has created in Shérazade a narrative that disrupts conventions of cohesion and linearity, weaving together stories and anecdotes of a dizzying multitude of characters in her fragmented and multi-perspectival novel. By examining Shérazade within the context of Les Mille et une nuits and the frame narrative, and by applying Joseph Frank’s concept of spatial form to the novel, this study hopes to suggest new interpretive strategies to illuminate Sebbar’s work.


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pp. 36-53
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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