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TRAUMA AND MATURATION IN WOMEN'S WAR NARRATIVES: THE EYE OF THE MIRROR AND CRACKING INDIA

Kamran Rastegar
Journal of Middle East Women's Studies
Vol. 2, No. 3 (Fall 2006), pp. 22-47
Published by: Duke University Press
DOI: 10.2979/mew.2006.2.3.22
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/mew.2006.2.3.22
Page Count: 26
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TRAUMA AND MATURATION IN WOMEN'S WAR NARRATIVES: THE EYE OF THE MIRROR AND CRACKING INDIA
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Abstract

ABSTRACT A comparative study of Liana Badr's The Eye of the Mirror and Bapsi Sidhwa's Cracking India shows that these two novels present intriguingly similar feminist frameworks through which the traumas of war and communal violence may be addressed. They do so by erasing the distinction between literary work and critical social history, producing what we may term counterhistories of the Lebanese Civil War and the Partition of India. In both of these novels, a girl upon the verge of sexual maturation sees the eruption of violence in the society around her to be fundamentally analogous to the inherent violence that accompanies the new social role she is being thrust into as a woman— this is achieved through the presentation of the narrative from the character's “naïve perspective.” These and the other literary strategies in the texts destabilize what is anticipated in the predominant war narrative, by linking the political, often nationalist violence of these stories to the intimate violence sustaining the structures of patriarchal social institutions within which the characters exist.

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