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Acknowledgments I n 2006, Ned Curthoys asked me to revisit my earlier work on sheik novels and Orientalism for a conference at the Australian National University that he and Debjani Ganguli were organizing on the legacy of Edward Said.The idea for this book came out of that conference . I amassed so much material that Angela Woollacott suggested I write a book on the subject, and this is the result. So thank you both very much, Ned and Angela! Angela, in particular, has been a good friend and a generous mentor throughout my academic career. This book could not have been written without financial support from Macquarie University via the Macquarie University Research Fellowship and Macquarie University New Staff Grant. I am very grateful to my various research assistants who have helped with different parts of the book: Kathleen Evesson, Annemarie Lopez, Bridget Deane, and Sofia Eriksson. I am particularly indebted to Eric Murphy Selinger for his specialist knowledge about romance fiction, invaluable critiques, and welcome suggestions for how to improve the whole book, to John Docker for encouraging me to think more flexibly about certain topics by sharing his various insights on Bakhtin and the romance novel, and to Margaret Sampson who, in the space of a fortnight, proofread and critiqued the final draft of this book despite being overwhelmed by Orientalism and suffering from a surfeit of sultans. I have also benefitted greatly from the insights of the following people, who have read and critiqued various chapters of this work: Amy Burge, Sande Cohen, Lisa Featherstone, and Gennaro Gervasio. All remaining shortcomings in the work are, of course, my responsibility. My special thanks to Stuart Ward and Richard White for their friendship , intellectual and moral support, and encouragement in all my vari- « viii » Desert Passions ous endeavors over the years. I also appreciate very much the support and friendship of Toni Johnson-Wood, and Juliet Flesch, who has been most generous with sharing her knowledge of Australian romance novels. I am most fortunate to work with warm and wonderful colleagues, so thanks to my colleagues in the Department of Modern History, Politics, and International Relations, particularly Mary Spongberg, for creating a congenial and enjoyable work environment that facilitates research and writing. I am also grateful to my colleagues in the Department of English who listened to an early draft of Chapter 1 and provided valuable feedback . I appreciate very much the intellectual support and encouragement of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance, who acted as a sounding board for various bits and pieces from this book over the last few years and who, again, put up with Orientalism and sheik romances for a long time. Thanks to Jim Burr, Jullianne H. Ballou, and other editorial staff at the University of Texas Press for their encouragement and help in editing and publishing this book. Finally, thanks to David Teo and Siew Ching Lai for their unstinting love and support, and to my friends who keep me grounded and constantly remind me of the things that matter in life. Desert Passions THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK ...


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