Writing Muslim Identity
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About Geoffrey Nash. Geoffrey Nash. Books by Geoffrey Nash. She flees from Hima to Exeter where she manages to live as the norm sets the standards: with work, husband and baby boy. She finds a liminal space throughout the novel but in the end dies as Salma. She cannot deal with the complexity of being true to both her Arab mother and her British husband. She cannot wipe out the Muslim attributes of her identity. Even though she is successful as Sally, within her inner self the transition is a failure and, rather than breaking away from this, she feels the guilt is hers.
To match the prejudice over his personality Gogol, an Indian student living in New York, is forced to change his name to a traditional Indian name: Nikhil is a tag identity the outside world is throwing upon him at face value. Sal is the interstitial person slipping into being Salma or being Sally.
Would it have been similarly worded if the title had been My Name Is Elizabeth? The marketing reasons that co-opted the US title go exactly against the idea of the book, in which the heroine deals with dislocation in an effort to defragment her identity. She is muted by an overpowering stigma, which incapacitates her. Liz, her landlord, is also haunted by her past, but they are on different sides of the social class scale.
Liz longs for her lost powers during colonial India while Sally achieves power over her immigrant condition. Salma has been cut deeply in the arm with a whip by Liz in an alcoholic delirium when she mistook Salma for one of her then servants:. I knew what Liz was thinking: a lower-class immigrant slut, hustling down the quay, must have been stabbed by her pimp.
All that was written on her hangovered face. There is a permanent transition from one self to the other, Muslim and British — both of her identities are victims and both identities are also soothed by the perpetrators. Finally the whirring and vibration of the machine spinning the laundry dry shook the old wooden floor. These characters challenge the postcolonial self sufficiency of the struggle against imperialism: the heroes and heroines in these novels are very unsure of themselves. The characters unceasingly question their belonging, their nationality, their fragmented history, whether in a western or a home country setting, they have set aside assertiveness for introspection.
They are depicted as flexible within the elements of their hybridity. Characters are depicted with various types of rhetoric that range from lyrical to humorous, eccentric, dramatic, cutting or intricate in style, using creative loaded tropes and a rich psychological web. Through the characters the ingenuity of self telling, whether in the first person or in a fictional character, adds a sense of density to the novels that compose this corpus.
Thereby the writers have produced new literary tools to address post -postcolonial Muslim identity. Secularism and Islam live oscillating lives, functioning in the same first-person character, yet continually battling for superiority. The characterisation expresses the fluidity of the contemporary Muslim identity portrayed in the novels, its dynamic evolving state, and thus the roots of its hybridity.
Corpus of novels. Annotated bibliography
To the rationale of humiliation, these writers offer artistic evasiveness of the characters. Al-Hassan Golley, Nawar. Texas: University of Texas Press, Going global, the transnational reception of third world women writers. New York: Garland, Bhabha, Homi. The location of Culture. London; New York: Routledge, Eakin, Paul John.
Touching the world. Reference in Autobiography. Princeton: Princeton University Press, Farahani, Fataneh. Diasporic narratives of sexuality. Identity Formation among Iranian-Swedish Women. Doctoral thesis in Ethnology at Stockholm University, Sweden, Gilmore, Leigh.
About Writing Muslim Identity
Autobiographics: A feminist theory of self-representation. Gull Hasan, Asma. Why I am a Muslim. London: Element books, Hawley, John. The postcolonial crescent.
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New York : Peter Lang Publishing, Kempf, Andrea. Issue Kahf, Mohja. Texas: Texas University Press, Lahiri, Jhumpa. The namesake. Boston: Mariner books, Malak, Amin. Muslim narratives and the discourse of English. Said, Edward W. New York: Vintage books, Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty.
Death of a discipline. New York : Columbia University Press, Wadud, Amina. Inside the gender jihad. Oxford:Oneworld, Souheif, Adhaf. The map of love. London: Bloomsbury, Stanford Friedman, Susan. Watson, C. Abdel Fatteh, Randa Does my head look big in this? Pan Macmillan, Australia. Teenager Amel decides to wear the hijab.
Amel is an Australian born Muslim with two Palestinian born parents. She is getting back for her second semester at her elite McLeans high school with the hijab on and depicts how the team of professionals, her peer group and her boyfriend react. Amel juxtaposes the prejudices she undergoes and their development, with her own prejudices towards the grumpy old Greek lady neighbour with whom she develops a creative relationship. One day she comes to school unaware the Bali nightclub bombings have taken place and she is overwhelmed by how she is expected to answer questions as to why these bombings have taken place.
Abdullah, Kia Adlibbed Ltd. Kieran comes from a large Bengali family where girls come as second best.
Writing Muslim Identity by Geoffrey Nash
She is the powerful student in her family and achieves to break off some of the traditions and bad choices that hold her peers in this lower class status. She graduates and falls in love with a young man from Pakistan. With a couple of lies they manage to go together on holiday to Tunisia. At home her brother, who gets away with stealing money and taking drugs, turns delinquent. Abu Jaber, Diana She has lived with her uncle after the death of her parents who got killed working for a disaster relief NGO. The chapters always start with a mirror story, like a Shaharazade tale, of Aunt Camille and her magical quest after her child Abderrahman Saladin, although this opening story has no chronological setting.
Aboulela, Leila With her Muslim hijab and down-turned gaze, Najwa is invisible to most eyes, especially to the rich Arab family whose house she tends to in London. However she had started out in life as a careless upper-class Westernized Sudanese, dreaming of a rich husband and of raising a family of her own. A coup kills her post independence elite father and forces the young woman and her family into political exile in London. Her twin brother who has been terribly affected by the downturn in his situation is sent to jail on drug charges.
Now hijab wearing Najwa is alone in the world apart from the Muslim sisterhood she finds at the mosque. She lets her love flow for the son of her employer, who could have been a normal suitor while the family was in power in Sudan, but this is London and she is now the cleaning lady. Ali, Monica Brick Lane. Doubleday publisher. Nazneen, came to Brick Lane from Bangladesh at the age of eighteen after an arranged marriage to Chanu, who is both self-important and unsuccessful. When she arrives, she cannot speak English, but falls into the role of dutiful wife and mother.
Not only is she always an outsider, an immigrant to a foreign land, but her Bangladeshi roots keeps her in a subservient role within her marriage. Her London educated girls help her change her perspective. She becomes the breadwinner of the family home sewing and attempts a love affair.
Yet there is always that pull from the homeland.
In Bangladesh, her sister, Hasina, also promised to an arranged marriage, had eloped with her lover, spurning this marriage where there is no love. Ali, Samina Madras on rainy days. Piatkus, London. First edition January 15, Layla bears a personality tag from her days in America, though she is trying to fit in the tradition of an arranged marriage.
Everywhere she will always be considered an outsider. She is in post pregnancy shatters as she marries Sameer with all the glitter of an Indian Muslim marriage. Her marriage is a sort of rebirth to her indianity, wanting to leave behind her American self. The drama of finding out her husband cannot make love to her though he does really love her in spite of all she has confessed to him about her pre-marriage affair with an American boy unfolds during the height of a Hindu Muslim wave of violence.
Anam Tahmina A Golden age. John Murray.
Writing Muslim Identity
East Pakistan is the theatre of heavy fighting after West Pakistan sends troops. A native of Calcutta, Rehana was resettled in Dhaka by her husband and speaks Urdu. Her children that were taken away from her are fervent patriots, joining in student marches and making speeches. As rhetoric becomes revolution, her son joins a guerrilla group and her daughter also leaves to Calcutta to write tracts exposing the atrocities committed by the Pakistani Army.
In each of the characters a complex network of loyalties to the family and the nation unfolds. Aslam Khan, Uzma Flamingo London. Dia and Daanish become lovers. The story is their struggle for freedom and passion in a city raven by turmoil. Daanish comes to Karachi for his father's funeral; he is changed by a few years spent in an American university.
Dia is the modern daughter of a mother who, as the owner of a silk farm and factory, has achieved a rare degree of freedom among Pakistani women. Their union will rupture the peace of two households and three families, destroying a stable present built on the repression of a bloody past. Faqir, Fadia My name is Salma. Salma has fled Jordan where she is to be killed by her brother because she became pregnant out of wedlock.
She will go to prison for protection and there will give birth to a daughter that will be taken away before she can even see her and this will haunt her life throughout. She escapes to England, and after many ordeals achieves a life of local normality with a job and her own family, a university huband and a son, but she cannot cope with the suffering and goes back to find Leyla her lost daughter. Moaveni, Azadeh Lipstick Jihad.
Public Affairs editions, USA. As far back as she can remember, Azadeh Moaveni has felt at odds with her tangled identity as an Iranian-American. In suburban America, Azadeh lived in two worlds. At home, she was the daughter of the Iranian exile community, serving tea, clinging to tradition, and dreaming of Tehran. Outside, she was a Californian girl who practiced yoga and listened to Madonna. For years, she ignored the tense standoff between her two cultures.
But college magnified the clash between Iran and America, and after graduating, she moved to Iran as a journalist. This is the story of her search for identity, between two cultures cleaved apart by a violent history.