Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/6234
Title: The Stratheden and the negotiation of the East-West trajectory: identity and migration in Ahdaf Soueif’s "Aisha"
Authors: D'Alessandro, Sabina
Keywords: Identity and migrationBorder positionArab and English cultureFemale identity and migration
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Sabina D'Alessandro, “The Stratheden and the negotiation of the East-West trajectory: identity and migration in Ahdaf Soueif’s "Aisha"", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, XIV (2007), pp. 325-333
Series/Report no.: Prospero XIV
Abstract: Ahdaf Soueif is an Anglo-Egyptian writer who spends her time between London and Cairo, finding herself in what Abdul JanMohammed calls ‘border position’ because she is divided between two cultures, what Edward Said referred to as ‘contrapuntual’. The author investigates how people cope with the conflicts between tradition and modernisation, thus contributing to the topical cultural debate on Westernization. Soueif’s Aisha, protagonist of the homonymous collection of short stories, is a girl who has to follow her parents from Cairo to London, and who finds herself switching from Arab to English culture depending on her location, later discovering that this internal conflict shapes her own identity. The essay examines Soueif’s semi-autobiographical short story and the experience of Soueif’s protagonist during her trajectory from the East to the West on the ship Stratheden. Soueif is concerned with how identity can be negotiated on a cross-cultural terrain as exemplified by the ship. She explores what happens when East and West meet, when men and women are involved in a cross-cultural relationship. From a female point of view, migration intersects with many different issues, like social position, gender and even sexuality, and Soueif explores how cross-cultural relationships evolve and how different characters try to reach a balance by carving out a place for themselves. Soueif creates new identities that are “neither soft-edged amalgamation nor slavish mimicry”.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/6234
ISSN: 1123-2684
Appears in Collections:2007 / 14 Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali

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