Autofiction as a Lens for Reading Contemporary Egyptian Writing

Kamal, H., Z. Magdy, and F. Massoud, "Autofiction as a Lens for Reading Contemporary Egyptian Writing", The Autoficitonal: Approaches, Affordances, Forms: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022.


This chapter offers a discussion of three texts by bicultural Egyptian writers: Waguih Ghali’s Beer in the Snooker Club (1964), Radwa Ashour’s Specters (1999), and Miral al-Tahawy’s Brooklyn Heights (2010). The three works are read via an autofictional lens, with focus on Ghali’s autofictional identity, Ashour’s autofictional threads, and al-Tahawy’s autofictionalizing experience. The study suggests that autofictionality can be identified in the texts in terms of genre as well as technique, demonstrating the potential of the autofictional as a literary strategy in negotiating identity, memory, and experience in the writing of Egyptian literature. Our reading of the three texts testifies to the affordance of an autofictional lens in reading Arabic literature and allows new insights into writing at the intersection of reality and the imagination.

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