A Thousand and One Voices: Re-reading Scheherazade in Contemporary Arab-American Fiction


  • Gláucia Renate Gonçalves Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Cláudio Braga Universidade Federal de Brasília




Arab-American Fiction, Diaspora, Scheherazade



In the wake of multiculturalism, the canon began to make room for the literary production of several groups of immigrants. Arab-American writers, however, remained marginal. Based on the notion of diaspora and its implications, this paper intends to investigate the literary production by Arab immigrants and their descendants in the United States with a view to discussing, in particular, the representation of gender. Through a brief discussion of a few contemporary works, we intend to show that Arab-American writers operate a kind of de-essentialization, that is, their works offer gender representations that virtually oppose disseminated stereotypes of Arab peoples. It is our contention that the figure of Scheherazade is revised so as to create alternatives for characters who wish to claim new roles for themselves without giving up their diasporic belonging.

Biografia do Autor

Gláucia Renate Gonçalves, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Gláucia R. Gonçalves holds a Ph.D. in Literary Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently Associate Professor of Literatures in English at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, where she has been teaching since 1996. She is also a translator, and her research interests are memory studies and the representation of immigration and diaspora in American Literature. E-mail: grgoncalves@yahoo.com

Cláudio Braga, Universidade Federal de Brasília

Claudio Braga received his doctorate degree in Comparative Literature from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in 2010. He is currently Professor and researcher of Literatures in English at the University of Brasilia, Brazil. His research interests include literature and film, African postcolonial literatures in English, US immigrant writing, transnational and diasporic literatures. E-mail: braga.claudio@gmail.com