Assia Djebar's Short Stories and Women

By:
Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
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Writing after Fanon and after independence, Assia Djebar brings women and their experiences of war into sharp focus. Her collection of short stories, Women of Algiers in their Apartment offers glimpses into the daily lives of women ignored by mainstream writers. She continues Fanon’s goals to prevent the cultural unveiling of Algerian women, but extends her exclusion to both French and Algerian men. Djebar addresses another kind of “territorial invasion and appropriation of resources. For twenty years later, the Algerian woman was still not at east in the streets, and the shame she felt attached to the mobility and exposure of her body was not due merely to colonial “penetration,” which had long been with drawn” (Falukner 848). Djebar’s work challenges Fanon’s predictions of the position of women in the new order and solidifies the problems facing the oppression of Algerian women. Although many would contend that her position as a native intellectual is suspect, the fact remains that Djebar’s efforts to write the untold narratives does lend agency to the lower classes of Algerian women. Even writing in French is a deliberate choice for an author whose chief concern is to have these unknown lives dealt with in a vast readership. The subaltern sections of Algerian women gained a voice in the writings of Assia Djebar.


Keywords: Research Focus
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies, Ethnicity, Difference, Identity
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Assia Djebar's Short Stories and Women


Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

PhD Candidate, University of Florida
English Department, University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, USA

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar was born in Chennai, India but has lived abroad since the age of 4. She recently served as the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar. Her research interests include Postcolonial Literature, specifically Muslim women’s literature. She also publishes fiction, including a short story “Dasi” in the Sierra Leone Pen’s recent anthology, Book of Voices, about widows in India.

In addition to “Dasi”, four other stories from Mohana’s first short story collection, Weeds and Other Stories, have been published including “Baby”, “Tree”, “Truth” and “Plates.”



Mohana is finishing her PhD in Postcolonial Literature from the University of Florida.

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