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School of Modern Languages & Cultures: Arabic Studies

Staff in the Department of Arabic

Go to the MLAC staff pages.

Publication details for Professor Paul Starkey

2006 ''Heroes' and Characters in the Novels of Sun'allah Ibrahim', Middle Eastern Literatures 9, pp. 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.