This chapter examines the development of the novel in Algeria within the context of the country’s history. Much Algerian literature functions as a means of political expression. The social status of women has been an important theme, addressed either as a critique of patriarchy or through the notion of women’s voice. Since the early 1990s, literary publishing has increased in scope and diversity; while the different trajectories of the French and Arabic novel have come closer together, the range of political perspectives reflected in the novels has widened. This chapter provides an overview of Arabic literature and the French-language novel published in Algeria up to 1962 before turning to a discussion of the period 1962–1992. It then considers the novel since 1993, including the work of authors in exile who have established and gained international recognition for the Algerian Arabic novel.
This chapter examines the relationship between the Arabic novel and history within the context of the Arabic-speaking world, and in particular the process of producing a literary history of the novel genre written in Arabic. It first considers the early development of the novel genre in Arabic as part of a cultural movement that gained impetus in the nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on the interplay of two cultural forces: the importation of Western ideas (including literary genres) and the role of the premodern Arab-Islamic cultural heritage in each subregion. It then discusses examples of narrative from the premodern heritage of Arabic literature before turning to the history of the Arabic novel. The chapter also presents examples of the Arabic historical novel, one of which is Sālim Ḥimmīsh’s Al-‘Allāma (2001, The Polymath).
Christina E. Civantos
This chapter examines the main trends and themes found across the novels of the Hispano-American mahjar (place of exile and immigrant life), with particular emphasis on Argentina. It considers the Arab Hispano-American novel in the context of the local, national, and regional cultural spaces that the authors or their families left behind, as well as the ones they now inhabit. It analyzes Arabic-language novels and proto-novels (most of which fit within so-called “exile literature”) and Spanish-language novels produced by Arab immigrants to Argentina during the first half of the twentieth century. It also discusses works published in the latter half of the twentieth century across Hispano-America. Hispanic mahjar novels that tackle the theme of spirituality as a means to make sense of migration; the issue of language used by writers to tell the story of the Arab immigrant experience; and Arab heritage as a source of narrative creativity.
This chapter examines the development of the Arab Australian novel since its beginnings, surveying works produced in Arabic and English by three generations of Arab Australian authors. It first considers David Malouf, whose Johnno (1975) marks the beginning of the Arab Australian novel, before turning to first-generation immigrants who introduced the Arabic-language novel in the 1980s and the English-language immigrant novel in the mid-1990s. It then discusses the contribution of the second-generation Arab Australians in the literary field. It shows that the Arab Australian novel is more than just an “immigrant narrative,” or fictional “Arab voices in Diaspora,” and that all Arab Australian novelists, except for Malouf, are preoccupied with the questions of home and identity.
Barbara Michalak-Pikulska and Waïl S. Hassan
This chapter examines the development of the novel in Bahrain. It first provides an overview of the beginnings of the literary movement in Bahrain, noting the role played by the press in the development of modern Bahraini literature, particularly prose genres. It then looks at the first generation of Bahraini authors, including Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Malik, who began publishing short stories in 1966, and ‘Abd Allah Khalīfa, whose early fiction contains realistic representations of life centered on the sea. The chapter also discusses a number of Bahraini novels written by the second generation of Bahraini authors, including Walīd Hāshim, Fatḥiyya Nā ṣir, and Aḥmad al-Mu’adhdhin.
Waïl S. Hassan
This chapter examines the development of the Arabic novel in Brazil. Arab immigrants who went to Brazil to work as peddlers were labeled turcos, a term that has given rise to the most enduring stereotype of Arabs in Brazil. After discussing the beginnings of Arab immigration in Brazil and the rest of the American hemisphere, the chapter considers some of the novels written in Arabic by immigrants in Brazil. Next, it discusses Lusophone Arab Brazilian novelists who have written about Arab immigration or ethnicity. Their novels can be roughly divided into three groups: works by immigrants’ children that depict the immigrant experience, often nostalgically; works that analyze the conflicts of immigrants’ children as they integrate themselves into Brazilian society; and works that enact a countermovement toward Arab culture on the part of third-generation Arab Brazilians.
Geoffrey P. Nash
This chapter examines the development of Arab British fiction. It begins with an overview of the making of Arab British fiction, citing anti-colonialism, Orientalism, and hybridization as the main elements of Anglophone Arab writing up to the close of the twentieth century. It then considers British novels about Egypt in which paternalistic “genuine love” for, and “wise understanding” of, the politics of Egypt overlaid colonial attitudes. It also analyzes Arab British fiction in relation to the colonial experience Arabs received from British domination in Arab lands, which lasted from the end of World War I to the early 1950s. Finally, it discusses postcolonial crosscurrents in the works of Arab British women, along with the predicament of exile and Diasporic consciousness in male Arab British fiction.
This chapter examines the development of the Arab Canadian novel, first by discussing the history of Arab immigration and the Canadian cultural and political landscape. It then considers the beginnings of Arabic fiction in Canada, focusing on Arab Canadian literary figures such as Sa‘d al-Khādim, along with early novels written in French and English. It also looks at playwrights who have written novels and discusses works with contemporary cultural politics as the main theme. The chapter reveals that Arab Canadians and Quebecois are actively involved in many literary, cultural, and activist scenes, as reflected in works that expose racism and the myths of official multiculturalism.
Heba El Attar
This chapter examines the literary work of the Arab diaspora in Chile, with particular emphasis on the Arab-Chilean, Syrian-Lebanese, and Palestinian-Chilean novels. It begins with an overview of the history of Arab immigration to Chile and how Arab immigrants were able to assimilate into Chilean society through their literary creativity. It then considers previous scholarship on the Arab-Chilean novel, which typically embodied several different stages of the journey to and within Chile: displacement, nostalgia, alienation, and integration. It also discusses the Syrian-Lebanese novel and the main themes of the Palestinian-Chilean novel, which include Palestine prior to the Partition, along with works that invoke border crossing. Finally, it explains how Palestinian immigrants succeeded over time in accumulating a twofold cultural capital in Chile.
This chapter examines the development of the novel in Egypt since 1960, with particular emphasis on the processes undergone by fiction writing in a period of rapid transformations. It first considers how Egypt’s defeat in the Six Day War against Israel in 1967 raised more inquiries into national history and promoted a new outlook on local and global relations, leading to increasing innovation in novelistic form. It then explores works by various authors who sought to rewrite the past, to narrate the nation in a counter-discourse that emphasizes the right to sovereignty, to represent the marginalized masses and the Nubian Diaspora, and to shape an alternative modernity. It also discusses Egyptian novels by writers using Arabic in Diaspora who challenged established constructs that have excluded those living in the periphery, along with those who represented ephemeral subjectivities.