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Postcolonial Haunting and Victimization

Assia Djebar’s New Novels

Michael O’Riley

Postcolonial Haunting and Victimization: Assia Djebar’s New Novels treats one of the central problems within the current geo-political conflict between Islam and the West: how the memory of imperialism fuels fundamentalist claims to territory and creates a paradigm of victimization through which martyrdom and terrorism prevail. Through an examination of the most recent works by the award-winning Algerian author Assia Djebar, this book considers how the culture of victimization prevails in postcolonial thought and practice, not only in the West but in formerly colonized territories as well. It examines the work of important postcolonial critics, such as Achille Mbembe and others, in dialogue with the works of Djebar, one of the most popular international postcolonial authors treating these questions from within the contemporary framework. Both in theory and in practice, this book reveals how pervasive haunting and victimization are in the wake of September 11th and provides an alternative way of responding to them. It demonstrates how Djebar’s reticence to explore the details of colonialism marks an important shift in postcolonial literature and criticism and an important attempt to address the dynamics of victimization. Postcolonial Haunting and Victimization will be a great resource to all those interested in the question of Islam and the West as well as to a wide array of readers in the fields of literary and postcolonial studies.