"Masculine Identity ably serves the needs of both the undergraduate literature classroom
and of researchers working on gender in Arabic fiction. Aghacy’s analysis of civil and
post-civil war Lebanon—the context that has received the most attention by Arabic
literary critics interested in gender—are astute and provide a valuable complement in the
classroom to the oft-cited and -taught work of miriam cooke and Evelyne Accad.
Literary critics working both comparatively as well as within Arabic literature will
appreciate Aghacy’s attention to a range of novels, some of which have not yet been
translated into English....Indeed, one of the book’s great strengths is its ability to bring at times disparate academic and literary
communities into conversation."
—Elizabeth M. Holt, Middle Eastern Literatures
This book offers an exploration of masculinity in the literature of the Arab East (Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and Iraq) in the context of a specific set of anxieties about gender roles and sexuality in Arab societies. While gender studies in the area have focused primarily on the situation of women, the treatment of Arab men as gendered subjects has fallen behind. Samira Aghacy’s rich analysis presents gender relations not within a fixed biological mold, but rather as a complex phenomenon fraught with ambivalence and operating within particular historical and geopolitical settings.
Through a series of close readings of twenty contemporary Arabic novels, Aghacy presents a mosaic of masculinities that challenges the generally held view of an essentialized archetypal Arab man and mirrors a contested vision of manliness where men figure in diverse sociocultural environments. This groundbreaking work reveals the volatile nature of masculinity and its inextricability from femininity.
View other series books on Gender, Culture, and Politics in the Middle East
Samira Aghacy is professor of English and comparative literature at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. She is the author of several articles on contemporary Lebanese fiction.
6 x 9, 232 pages, notes, index