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Iʼm Going Mad Again; Narratives of Female Suicide in Modern Arabic Literature
Abstract by Nusaiba Imady On Session IX-27  (Feminist and Queer Literature)

On Saturday, November 4 at 3:00 pm

2023 Annual Meeting

Evelyn McHale, the subject of the photograph "the most beautiful suicide," wrote in her suicide note, "Tell my father, I have too many of my mother's tendencies." This final testimony reverberates the trauma of what it means to live as a woman, to have too much of your 'mother's tendencies.' To be a woman is to connected and subjected to forms of commodification, ownership, and control. This research examines the space in which the trauma of womanhood reaches its apex, and a narrative of the living turns into a narrative of death. By utilizing the literature from, on, and about female suicide in Arabic literature, this research expands on the complexity of suicide, going past the psychoanalytic approach. I analyze how the writings and lives of historical female authors who have committed suicide have been showcased and utilized by modern female Arab authors in navigating their suicidal flirtation, specifically through In the Footsteps of Enayat al-Zayyat By Iman Mersal and The Return from Sylvia Plath by Asma Hussain. In which both authors formulate a lineage and relic of female suicide.
Geographic Area
All Middle East
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