The Quest for Identity in French Women Borderland Literature = Fransız Kadın “Sınır” Edebiyatında Kimlik Arayışı

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Doğu Akdeniz Üniversitesi

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The aim of this article, rooted within both the post-colonial and the feminist discourse, is to connect Western women’s search for new forms of identities to the experiences and perspectives of immigrant/migrant women and with a particular focus in on a specific group of writers: Algerian women writers living in France. These women, living between two worlds, in a cultural and national borderland have employed different strategies of resistance; sometimes has been victims of ambivalence conflicts or have sometimes enjoyed the multiple identities. In my interpretation borderland is a metaphor for (un)belonging, of being a nomad within cultures in perpetual exile from a homeland that is not anymore felt as one’s own, but living in the boundaries, in the “interstices of culture”, as affirmed by Homi K. Bhabha. This borderland begins at the frontier of both national and sexual identities and develops through on-going negotiations and manifold strategies of resistance. Far from searching for a homogeneous migrant discourse or for a generalized answer to the search for identity, this paper intends to show the response of single individualities to issues of subordination, strangeness, exile, loneliness. Despite individual differences, one element connects all the women analyzed here: their need to write, to tell their stories, to construct or re-construct their past and to affirm, through their novels, their existence. Storytelling becomes such a window that allows us to enter in their worlds and that moreover offers, through fresh eyes, a new perspective on the society in which we live.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Post-colonialism, Feminism, Borderland literature, Migrant minority literature, Border theory, Border studies


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Kadın/Woman 2000, 2014; 15 (2): 95-113