Love and Sexuality in Modern Arabic Literature

Love and Sexuality in Modern Arabic Literature
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Love and Sexuality in Modern Arabic Literature

Edited by Roger Allen, Hilary Kilpatrick and Ed de Moor

Introduction by Hilary Kilpatrick

In segregated, conservative societies with a repressive attitude to women, writings on the theme of love and sexuality are of particular interest. Among the plethora of studies on modern Arabic literature, this book is the first major treatment of what has generally been a taboo subject.
The scope covers the entire history of modern Arabic literature – poetry, the novel and the short story – from the late nineteenth century to the end of the 1980s. Examples are drawn from countries as diverse as Algeria and Kuwait. Although the main accent is on the prose of Egypt and the countries of the Mashreq, North African literature is also included.

Topics range from ‘Erotic awareness in the early Egyptian short story’ to ‘death and desire in Iraqi War literature’, from ‘fathers and husbands as tyrants and victims’ to ‘the foreign woman in the North African novel’.
The writers whose works are analysed include Tawfīq al-Hakīm, Jabrā Ibrāhīm Jabrā, Adūnīs, Laylā Ba’albakkī, Najīb Mahfūz, Edwār al-Kharrat, Laylā al-‘Uthmān and Nizār Qabbānī.
Each of the nineteen contributors to the book is a specialist in his or her field of modern Arabic literature.


Roger Allen is Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. His publications include a major study on the Arabic novel and an anthology of critical writings.

Hilary Kilpatrick has taught Arabic literature at the Universities of Nijmegen and Bern. She has published on both classical and modern Arabic prose literature.

Ed de Moor is reader in Arabic literature at the University of Nijmegen and editor of Orientations, the annual publication of the Dutch Association for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. He has written widely on Arabic literature, particularly on modern poetry.


'Raises important and thought-provoking issues. There is much of interest and value in this book.' Times Literary Supplement

'This volume is undoubtedly valuable in the wealth of its textual analyses, plot summaries and historical references. An impressive array of authors from all over the Arab world is represented.' Al-Arabiyya
'Informative, probing and engagingly written. Most notable is Khalaf's analysis of Lebanon's uniqueness, resilience and ambitious search for self-transcendence.' Ghassan Tueni

'[Khalaf's] noble intentions make his writing compelling, and his essays should be read as fragments of Lebanese history via the travels and travails of a scholar whose ideas were greatly shaped by that history.' 
Lucia Volk, Harvard University

Language: English
ISBN: 9780863560750
2001, paperback, 272 pages, 15.5 x 23.5 cm

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