Writing across the lines: A study of selected novels by Joyce Mansour, Andrée Chedid, Vénus Khoury-Ghata and Leila Barakat
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis is a study of identity and power in the novels of Joyce Mansour, Andrée Chedid, Vénus Khoury-Ghata and Leila Barakat. Well known for her startling and provocative poetry, Joyce Mansour was one of the few women writers to contribute to the Surrealist movement. She died in France in1986. A versatile writer, Andrée Chedid has won a number of awards for her plays, novels, short stories and poetry. Vénus Khoury-Ghata, probably better known for her poetry, continues to write in French and participate in the promotion of la francophonie. Leila Barakat has published four novels set in the Middle East, and has a doctorate in Comparative literature. The four novelists are from Egypt and Lebanon, countries and cultures which lie between the Orient and the Occident. While Arabic is the official language of both countries, these four novelists have written in French; communicating across the lines separating one gender, culture, race and language from another. This thesis argues that language is constantly altered by its referent and that the four authors have used their novels to not only challenge power structures in place, but to transcend them.