Muslim Magical Realisms
This book presents a critical examination of modern Muslim novels, exploring the multifaceted experience of Muslims in the capitalist world-system. It provides guidance on how to interpret these literary works without succumbing to Orientalist stereotypes of Islam and Muslims. Drawing on the concept of a world literary system, the book refutes the notion of a monolithic, essentialist Muslim identity or universal literary style or mode. This is illustrated through an analytical reading of six post-1980 novels, each set in a different country and utilizing magical realism along with Islamic traditions, notably Sufism, as well as local myths and forms to engage with the pressures of modernity, as they are experienced in their own communities at particular historical and political conjunctures across the modern Muslim world.
The book also complicates the assumption that Salman Rushdie's magical realism is a normative model for other Muslim writers — to argue that the combination of Islamic traditions and the magical realism genre has produced a distinctive literary sub-genre: Muslim magical realism(s). Although this work acknowledges critiques that magical realism has become a global genre, the book postulates that comparing magical realism(s) from across the Muslim world can provide more nuanced understandings of the relationship between literature, religion, and modernity.
ISBN 9783969391839. LINCOM Studies in Language and Literature 37. 200pp. 2023.