Identity Crisis in Arab Diasporic Novel: A Case Study of Lebanese American Novel
Keywords:Arab Americans, Lebanese, Culture, Diaspora, Homeland, Identity, Novel
Very little has been written on cultural identity and national identity in contemporary Lebanese novel in the diaspora. This study explores how border identity is presented in Rabih Alameddine's Koolaids (1998), I, the Divine (2001), and The Angel of History (2016), three novels about the failure of the Lebanese immigrants to establish their cultural identity in the diaspora. It also gives a bird's-eye view of the myriad problems encountered by the immigrants while trying to build their cultural identity. Rabih Alameddine, a Lebanese American writer whose early literary pursuits focus on melting in the new homeland, represents the impossibility of redefinition and introduces the immigrants' remarkable preoccupation with the quest for national identity and nationhood. He mixes melancholic and ridiculous moments to represent the quest for cultural identity in order to subvert the neo-orientalist discourse which is based on the East/West dichotomy. Moreover, the use of multiple settings and narrators in each novel is also a common theme that explains the physical and psychological effects of the Lebanese civil war and the Lebanese ethnic categories in the diaspora.
Abdelrazek, A. (2007). Contemporary Arab American Women Writers: Hyphenated Identities and Border. New York: Cambria Press.
Ahmed, I. (2006). "Michigan Arab Americans: A Case Study of electoral and Non-electoral empowerment". In Strum (Ed.), American Arabs and political Participation Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Alameddine, R. (1998): Koolaids: The Art of War. New York: Picador.
Alameddine, R. (2001). I, the Divine: A Novel in First Chapters. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Alameddine, R. (2016). The Angel of History. New York: Random House.
Altwaiji, M. (2019). American Orientalist Discourse: the Linguistic Formation and Transformation. International Journal of English Linguistics, 9(1), 261-268.
Altwaiji, M., & Telha, M. (2018). Scio-economic Issues Related to Immigrants American Political and Election Discourse. International Journal of English Linguistics, 8(5), 63-7. DOI: 10.5539/ijel.v8n5p63
Alumit, N. (2016). A Grief-Stricken Life: Rabih Alameddine’s “The Angel of History”. Los Angeles Review of Books. https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/a-grief-stricken-life-rabih-alameddines-the-angel-of-history
Barhoum, N. (2016). Researcher Nadia Barhoum interviews Rabih Alameddine. California: Hass Institute for Fair and Inclusive Society.
Census Bureau. (2010). Census of Population and Housing. Census Bureau https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/cph-2-1.pdf
Conrey, C. (2014). Contemporary Arab-American Literature: Transnational Reconfigurations of Citizenship and Belonging. New York: New York University Press.
Domestico, A. (2016). The Angel of History by Rabih Alameddine. Atlantic Monthly Press. https://www.sfgate.com/books/article/The-Angel-of-History-by-Rabih-Alameddine-9451785.php
Forna, A. (2016). Angel of History by Rabih Alameddine review. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/13/the-angel-of-history-by-rabih-alameddine-review.
Gee, A. (2016). The Shortlist L.G.B.T. Fiction. The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/13/books/review/angel-of-history-rabih-alameddine-and-more.html.
Ghouaiel, I. K. (2015). Negotiating the Third Space in the Arab American Fiction of Diana Abu-Jaber and Laila Halaby. Published Doctoral Thesis, Madrid: Universidad Autónoma De Madrid.
Hout, S. (2012). Post-War Anglophone Lebanese Fiction: Home Matters in the Diaspora. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Kayyali, R. (2006). The Arab Americans. London: Greenwood Press.
Majaj, L. S. (2008). Arab-American Literature: Origins and Developments. American Studies Journal, 52, 2-12.
Messud, C. (2015). An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine review – ‘a complicated literary pleasure’. The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/28/an-unnecessary-woman-rabih-alameddine-review-novel.
Metres, P. (2012). Introduction to Focus: American Literature. American Book Review, 33(4), 1-15.
Salari, S. (2002). Invisible in Aging Research: Arab Americans, Middle Eastern Immigrants, and Muslims in the United States. The Gerontologist, 42(5), 580-588.
Strum, P. (Ed.). (2006). American Arabs and political Participation. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of History Culture and Art Research
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.All papers licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 CC-BY.
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
Under the following terms:
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.