Arab American Novel: Development and Issues

Abdalwahid Abbas Noman


The novel in the Arab-American literature is absolutely considered a modern writing in its existence and styles except The Book of Khalid (1911) which was written in the first decade of the twentieth century. It becomes the main genre in the body of Arab-American literature and the large numbers of Arab-American novels have been published as a result of the considerable efforts made after the eighties of 20th century. Arab-American novels generally tackle issues such as the problem of identity, anti-Arab racism, marginalization, immigration and situations of refugees, nostalgia, and exile. They also foreground social problems Arab-American communities face as heterogeneity, generational differences, oppression, stereotype, social injustice and anti-assimilationist discourses. Moreover, the Arab-American novels try to create reconciliation between the Western and oriented cultures and reconciliation between the culture and values of the West and the East, the displacement of Palestinians, war and poverty in the Middle East, and so forth. This paper aims at providing an overview of the development of Arab-American novel as well as exploring the most common issues and themes discussed by this kind of genre in the Arab-American literature. It also tries to investigate in detail the concept of identity as a debatable issue in the contemporary Arab-American literature.


Arab-American Novel; Identity: Reconciliation: Immigration: Cultural perplexity

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