“I’ll dance for you, I’ll dance for me, I’ll dance for the sake of dancing": The yearning for freedom in the writing of palestinian writer Māyā abū l-hayāt

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Abstract

This article examines 'Ataba thaqīlat al-rūh (“Threshold of heavy spirit,” 2011), a novel by the new generation West Bank writer Māyā Abū l-Hayāt, who is considered one of the prominent new generation Palestinian West Bank writers, in which diverse and unique use of a dance motif is found. The article reviews the history of dance in Arab society and the meanings that it had in the past and currently has in Arab society and culture. It illustrates how Abū l-Hayāt uses each of these meanings throughout her novel in order to reveal the female soul and the status of women in Arab society. The article shows how Abū l-Hayāt incorporates this motif into her novel in a unique and original way, thus exposing woman’s yearning for freedom, creating a new feminine language and undermining accepted norms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalHawwa
Volume11
Issue number3
Early online date2020
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2020

Keywords

  • Arabic literature
  • AtabaThaqīlatal-rūh
  • Māyā Abū l-Hayāt
  • Palestinian literature
  • Women’s literature

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