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Hudā Barakāt

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Queer Literature—of Arabic

image of Journal of World Literature

In this article, I read Hudā Barakāt’s work within the context of queer theory. I argue that the positioning of a queer character at the heart of Barakāt’s Ḥajar al-Ḍaḥik (The Stone of Laughter, 1990) has two main functions: first, it appropriates a (contested) classical theme in Arabic literature. Second, it does so while engaging with queer theory and literature as a global movement. Barakāt’s choice to write exclusively in Arabic about homoeroticism and queerness in spite of her being fluent in French is of particular significance. Read in comparison to more recent publications in English that address “queerness” in the Arab Middle East, including Meem’s Bareed Mista3jil: True Stories (2009), Rabih Alameddine’s The Hakawati: A Story (2008), and Saleem Haddad’s Guapa (2016), Barakāt’s intervention urges a rethinking of the canonization of queer texts of the Arab world and the different ways they enter local and global markets.

Affiliations: 1: Trinity College


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