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Adapting Shahrazad’s Odyssey

The Female Wanderer and Storyteller in Victorian and Contemporary Middle Eastern Literature


Eda Dedebas Dundar

Adapting Shahrazad’s Odyssey: The Female Wanderer and Storyteller in Victorian and Contemporary Middle Eastern Literature focuses on a comparative study of the figure of the female traveler and storyteller in nineteenth-century Victorian literature and contemporary Anglophone Middle Eastern writing. Eda Dedebas Dundar’s cutting-edge study is the first to discover a strong link between traveling texts and the traveling women in fiction, analyzing the ways in which she is molded by her previous exposure to stories. This unique and interdisciplinary book explores the relationship between traveling and writing through the incorporation of various disciplines, including gender studies and postcolonial studies.
Through close analysis, the author illuminates three main concepts: travel as a metaphor for rewriting, the female wanderer as the reworked adaptation of Odysseus and Shahrazad, and the notion of adaptation as a metatextual travel between Victorian and contemporary, nostalgia and progress. Scholars whose areas of expertise include nineteenth- and twentieth-century global Anglophone literature as well as travel writing and gender studies will find this text of particular interest. Moreover, this book further highlights fields of study in the humanities, including literature, gender studies, and civil liberties, aimed at an academic audience interested in travel narratives, women’s writing, postcolonial literature, women’s studies, and human rights. This text will be of special interest in courses such as Victorian women’s writing, Victorian children’s literature, global Anglophone literatures, women writers from the Middle East, and literary adaptation and appropriation.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Dedebas Dundar, Eda. Adapting Shahrazad’s odyssey: the female wanderer and storyteller in Victorian and contemporary Middle Eastern literature / Eda Dedebas Dundar. pages cm. — (American University studies XIX: general literature; Vol. 40) Includes bibliographical references. 1. English fiction—19th century—History and criticism. 2. English fiction— Women authors—History and criticism. 3. Women travelers in literature. 4. Storytellers in literature. 5. Literature—Adaptations—History and criticism. 6. Middle Eastern literature—21st century—History and criticism. 7. Middle Eastern literature—20th century—History and criticism. 8. Women in literature. 9. Travel writing—Middle East—History. 10. Travel writing—Great Britain—History—19th century. I. Title. PR830.W6D45 823.009’9287—dc23 2015005812 ISBN 978-1-4331-3045-8 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4539-1575-2 (e-book) ISSN 0743-6645 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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