Female Narratology in the Novels of Hédi Bouraoui
The Muse Strikes Back traces the "Ariadne's thread" to guide readers through the labyrinth of Hédi Bouraoui's dense, highly figurative, "exploding" novels. It focuses on the bridging of gender and genre, of narratology and a fascinating series of female protagonists from diverse cultures – "Koï thaï ", the Tunisian Zitouna, the French Francine, the Egyptian Hatchepsut, even a feminized talking CN Tower – who rebel against the traditional role of Muse (Dante's Beatrice, Shakespeare's Dark Lady), who have minds of their own and their own tales to tell. With a bow to the archetypal female artist Scheherazade, Bouraoui's fiction creates a dialogue between the sexes, as it does between cultures, and between past and present.
Elizabeth Sabiston is an Associate Professor of English at York University, Toronto. An author and translator, she has published a book and numerous articles on nineteenth-century British, and American and French literatures. She has been working on Francophone Maghrebian literature, and particularly the poetry and novels of Hédi Bouraoui.