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The Madness of Non-Conformity: Woman versus society in the fiction of Salwā Bakr

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image of Journal of Arabic Literature

This article provides an overview of the achievement of the Egyptian fiction writer, Salwā Bakr (b. 1949). All her works, from her first collection of short stories, Zīnāt fī Janāzat al-Ra'īs (Zinat in the President's Funeral, 1986), to her novel Kūkū Sūdān Kibāshī (2004) are examined. The article will serve as a systematic and comprehensive introduction for her development, her intellectual preoccupations and their artistic representations. The overlap of politics proper and gender politics in her work is highlighted in her portrayal of the status of women in Egyptian society, as is her attempt at contextualising the freedom of women as part of the freedom of society at large from repressive rule and the outmoded conventions of a patriarchal culture.


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