Honors | The Arabic Novel
C200 | 1195 | S. Stetkevych
The Arabic Novel will take as its core novel the Egyptian Nobel
laureate Naguib Mahfouz's Palace Walk, which provides an intimate view
of the traditional life of a Cairene mercantile family in the early
20th century. It will then explore such works as Sudanese author
al-Tayyib Saleh's Season of Migration to the North, which treats the
jarring political and psychological displacement of a Sudanese
migrating to London, then back to the Sudan; the Israeli Arab Emile
Habibi's Pessoptimist, the tragic-comic novel of life under Israeli
rule; Lebanese Hanan al-Sheikh's Story of Zahra, which portrays the
violent coming of age of a hapless girl during the Lebanese civil war.
Beyond the Arab world, the course will look at works such as Tanzanian
authori Abd al-Rahman Gurnah's Paradise, a poignant coming-of-age
novel set in colonial East Africa; Neustadt Award winner Nuruddin
Farah's Close Sesame, set in post-colonial Somalia under Marxist
dictatorship; Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie's Midnight's
Children, on the birth of modern India/Pakistan; and Milton Hattoum's
Tree of the Seventh Heaven, a lusophone novel about the Syro-Lebanese
diaspora in Brazil.
Individual projects will allow students to pursue their own interests
in areas such as the women novelists, the war novel, the postcolonial
novel, the Arab-American novel, etc.
All required readings are in English.