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The Politics of Representation in Ahdaf Soueif’s «The Map of Love»

Sabina D'Alessandro

This book examines the themes and narrative features in Ahdaf Soueif’s The Map of Love. It deals with unresolved questions regarding asymmetrical intercultural relationships and the historical reasons for the present cultural conflicts. It also looks at the role played by nineteenth century visual and literary stereotyped representations of ‘oriental’ otherness when compared with the western tradition. The author offers a critical perspective on Soueif’s use of nineteenth century English travel writing as a strategy for the deconstruction of its representative mechanisms. The book focuses on Soueif’s mapping-out of the complex and conflictual search for identity on the part of the Egyptian protagonists, whilst questioning the possible processes of transformation in maintaining one’s own cultural diversity.