Gender Studies

Women Claim Islam

Miriam Cooke, New York: Routledge, 2001. 175 pages.

This book embarks on a sojourn into the stories and autobiographies of Arab women writers who “claim Islam” by “writing themselves into the history of the twentieth century.” Being situated outside their nations’ historical narratives, Cooke examines the literary practices of Arab Muslim women who have entered into global political discourses as vibrant public intellectuals, rather than as history’s invisible subtext. According to her, Arab Muslim women “have been left out of history, out of the War Story, out of the narratives of emigration and exile, out of the physical and hermeneutical spaces of religion.” Thus Muslim women intellectuals and writers are challenging the erasures of their experiences in the public and discursive spaces of nation, community, and faith.

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