Voices Revealed

by Shaaban, Bouthaina

Spanning more than a century, this systematic study brings to the forefront a dazzling array of novels by Arab women writers. Bouthaina Shaaban’s analysis ranges from the work of Zaynab Fawwaz, published at the end of the nineteenth century, to that of Sahar Khalifah and Najwa Barakat, published at the cusp of the twenty-first. The novels discussed reflect not only specifically Arab concerns, but also those that are universally relevant to women. Perhaps most notably, Shaaban makes it abundantly clear that Arab women were pioneers in the creation of the Arab novel – though until now they have been little known – and that the development of this literary genre occurred very much in tandem with the changing role of women in Arab countries.