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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact:

Publication details for Professor Paul Starkey

Starkey, Paul. (2006). 'Heroes' and Characters in the Novels of Sun'allah Ibrahim. Middle Eastern Literatures 9(2): 147-157.

Author(s) from Durham


Tilka l-rā'ia, uncallāh Ibrāhm's short novel first published in 1966, has been widely regarded as a seminal work that heralded a major change of mood in modern Egyptian fiction. In the sequence of some six novels that have followed it, the author has developed a characteristic technique, involving the frequent use of intertextuality and the deliberate patterning of different narrative modes. The scale and complexity of the author's works have also increased dramatically since the publication of Tilka l-rā'ia. This article discusses some features of this sequence of novels, in most of which the author shows a continuing preference for first-person narration and whose protagonists (with the exception of the eponymous heroine of Warda) continue to embody many of the characteristics of the 'anti-hero'.


Special Issue: Identities Remembered, Discovered, Invented:
Hero and Character in Modern Arabic Literature.