“Unhomeliness” and the Arab Woman in Fadia Faqir’s Pillars of Salt (1996)

Author: Malika Hammouche

Keywords: Arabo-islamic womanism, Colonialism, Faqir, Orientalism, Patriarchy, Pillars Unhomeliness, unhomely

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/1024093/awejtls/vol4no2.2

 The concept of “Unhomeliness” as defined by Homi Bhabha will be used in this work to analyse Pillars of Salt, written by Fadia Faqir in 1996. This paper intends to demonstrate how this concept, describing the psychological pressure experienced by the female characters of this novel and the feeling of displacement engendered by the different “unhomely” situations from which the female characters suffer, reflect the author’s Arabo-islamic womanism in this literary production. It consists in exploring different Arab traditions, colonial encroachments and a hegemonic orientalist vision as present in the novel, representing patriarchal, colonial and imperial “unhomeliness” for the female characters.