"At last a study of gender relations in the Middle East that is focused, not on women but men and concepts of masculinity, and not on fiction by only women novelists but by both men and women. Aghacy’s book brings us a new understanding of many an author from countries of the Levant and Iraq."—Rasheed El-Enany, University of Exeter
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 that 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.
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, 240 pages