(Re)Constructing A Homeland: Reflective Nostalgia In The Works Of Contemporary Francophone North African Jewish Women Writers
Strongson, Julie Deborah
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This work examines the role of nostalgia in texts by Judeo-Maghrebian women writers who write retrospectively about their lives in North Africa. I study authors from Algeria (Rachel Kahn, Myriam Ben, Hélène Cixous and Annie Cohen), Tunisia (Annie Goldmann and Nine Moati), and Morocco (Paule Darmon). I specifically look at the ways in which these authors' multiple layers of identity--as Jews, as Arabs, as, in many cases, French citizens, and as women--inform their works and fuel the nostalgic tone of their narratives, shaping the way in which they recreate their homelands through their texts. Drawing on theoretical discussions of "home" and nostalgia, I consider these authors' writing processes, including their own reflections on nostalgia; their reliance on symbols related to nature and the body; their diverse depictions of the relationships between the North African Jews and their fellow non-Jews; and their representation of women's roles in Jewish and North African cultures.