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Arab Women WritersA Critical Reference Guide, 1873-1999$
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Radwa Ashour, Ferial Ghazoul, and Hasna Reda-Mekdashi

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789774161469

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774161469.001.0001

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Arab North Africa

Arab North Africa

(p.235) 7 Arab North Africa
Arab Women Writers

Radwa Ashour

Ferial J. Ghazoul

Hasna Reda-Mekdashi

American University in Cairo Press

The first appearance of North African women writers was bound up with the appearance of national liberation movements and their social concerns. Educated women were always present at assemblies and celebrations to provide “the women's word” or recite poetry, usually neoclassical qasida poems glorifying the nation and its struggles. The North African women's novel shows potential to give voice to North African women seeking liberty, equality, and self-expression in all its forms. In the context of rapid social changes and women's heightened awareness, the novel seems a particularly apt means of capturing interior experience through the various discourses available in the novelistic form. The challenge now facing North African women writers is continuity—maintaining a regular pace of production that will make them a permanent fixture of the literary scene and their voices a basic part of the equation between writers and the reading public.

Keywords:   women writers, North Africa, qasida poems, continuity, self-expression

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