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INTRODUCTION: THE PLACE OF ISLAM IN CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN LITERATURE

Anthony Monta
Religion & Literature
Vol. 43, No. 1 (spring 2011), pp. 120-122
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23049357
Page Count: 3
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INTRODUCTION: THE PLACE OF ISLAM IN CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN LITERATURE
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Abstract

This forum gathers essays composed by creative and scholarly writers of Muslim origins who consider themselves witnesses of both their native cultures and their adoptive European cultures. Prominent in these essays are questions arising from the authors' mixed cultural identity as well as critical or sympathetic reflections on religious traditions in their backgrounds. The first half of the forum presents essays written in English by playwright and scholar Alek Baylee Toumi, poet and scholar Hafid Gafaïti, novelist Robin Yassin-Kassab, novelist and scholar Laila Lalami, and Pakistani writer and literary critic Muneeza Shamsie. The French-language authors in the second half of the forum include four prominent novelists—Salim Bachi, Azouz Begag, Malika Mokeddem, and Leïla Sebbar—who all have ties to Algeria, alongside Youssef Seddik, a philosopher from Tunisia. While the novelists provide rich personal reflections on Islam in literature, communicating respect for the faith of their families and evoking the aspects of this religion that elude them, Seddik provides a scholarly overview of the Arab-Islamic literary tradition.

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