This paper compares and contrasts Edward Said’s memoir Out of Place (Granta Books, London1999) with a Tunisian autobiographical text Avenue de France (Gallimard, Paris, 2001) by Colette Fellous. The paper explores the growing awareness of the importance of the land of birth for both authors and analyses what it means to come from a minority in an Arab land for each of them, one a Palestinian-American and a Christian Arab, the other a French-speaking Tunisian born into a Jewish family and now living in France. Through the narratives, the tensions between the migrant success story narrative and nostalgia for the land of birth allow an insight into the construction of complex individual hybrid identities shaped by ongoing conflicts in the Middle-East. This paper is published in Tunisia, at a sensitive time when the country is governed by Islamists claiming only the Arabo-Islamic heritage as the identity for all. These autobiographic texts place the quest for individuality and hybrid identities at the centre of their narratives and give visibility to a religious diversity shrinking throughout the Arab world. The comparative approach highlights the literary qualities of emerging writer Colette Fellous and reaffirms the strengths of Edward Said’s masterpiece.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Revue tunisienne des langues vivantes|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|