Arab women’s writing in the modern age began with ‘A’isha al-Taymuriya, Warda al-Yaziji, Zaynab Fawwaz, and other nineteenth-century pioneers in Egypt and the Levant. This unique study—first published in Arabic in 2004—looks at the work of those pioneers and then traces the development of Arab women’s literature through the end of the twentieth century, and also includes a meticulously researched, comprehensive bibliography of writing by Arab women. In the first section, in nine essays that cover the Arab Middle East from Morocco to Iraq and Syria to Yemen, critics and writers from the Arab world examine the origin and evolution of women’s writing in each country in the region, addressing fiction, poetry, drama, and autobiographical writing. The second part of the volume contains bibliographical entries for over 1,200 Arab women writers from the last third of the nineteenth century through 1999. Each entry contains a short biography and a bibliography of each author’s published works. This section also includes Arab women’s writing in French and English, as well as a bibliography of works translated into English. With its broad scope and extensive research, this book is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in Arabic literature, women’s studies, or comparative literature. Contributors: Emad Abu Ghazi, Radwa Ashour, Mohammed Berrada, Ferial J. Ghazoul, Subhi Hadidi, Haydar Ibrahim, Yumna al-‘Id, Su‘ad al-Mani‘, Iman al-Qadi, Amina Rachid, Huda al-Sadda, Hatim al-Sakr.
Arab Women Writers
A Critical Reference Guide, 1873–1999
Arab women’s writing in the modern age began with ‘A’isha al-Taymuriya, Warda al-Yaziji, Zaynab Fawwaz, and other nineteenth-century pioneers in
Radwa Ashour (1946–2014) is a highly acclaimed Egyptian writer and scholar. She is the author of more than fifteen works of fiction, memoir, and criticism and she supervised and edited the Arabic translation of Volume 9 of The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism (2006). She was professor of English and comparative literature at Ain Shams University, Cairo. She received the Constantine Cavafy Prize for Literature and the prestigious Owais Prize for Fiction.
Ferial J. Ghazoul is an Iraqi scholar, critic, and translator. She is professor of English and comparative literature at the American University in Cairo and formerly editor of Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics. She has written extensively on gender issues in modern and medieval literature and is the author of Nocturnal Poetics: The Arabian Nights in Comparative Context (AUC Press, 1996).
Hasna Reda-Mekdashi is a Lebanese publisher, former director of the prominent child literature publishing house Dar al-Fata al-Arabi, and founding member and managing director of Nour: Foundation for Arab Women’s Research and Studies, Cairo. She initiated and co-edited the Nour Quarterly Journal for reviews of Arab women’s books, and initiated and co-directed the First Arab Women’s Book Fair in Cairo in 1995.
Mandy McClure is the translator of Arab Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide (AUC Press, 2008) and Tales of Yusuf Tadrus by Adel Esmat (Hoopoe, 2018), and co-translator of The Traditional Crafts of Egypt (AUC Press, 2016). She lives in Cairo.