Book Review


Assignment topic: Book Review

Number of Pages: 2 pages / 550 words

Format: MLA


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 1. What is the title, and who is the author of the book? (2 points)

The book is entitled Anxiety of Erasure, Trauma, Authorship, and Diaspora in Arab Women’s writings and has been written by Hanadi Al- Samman, an Arab woman.

  1. What does the title tell you about the book? (2points)

The title of the book reveals the likely content and the themes that the book has covered. It gives an insight into the fact that the author has talked about Arab women in the diaspora and majored mainly in their writings. Further, the title reveals that the book has tried primarily to cover the dominance of trauma among the thematic concerns of most of the Arab writers that are living in the diaspora.

  1. Who are the principal characters in the book? Name at least three and describe them (9 points)

Avatar Brah is one of the main characters of the book. She is a diasporic subject, thus is affected by the traumas of separation and dislocation (Al-Samman 26). However, the author presents her as pone of the brave, courageous, and timid characters that use the opportunity to transform the trauma of being in the diaspora to triumph in their undertakings.

Ghada Samman is also an essential character in the diaspora who the writer tries to use to give diaspora a new meaning. To Ghada, the diaspora offers her a unique chance to rewrite the story and hold it accountable to the historical crimes, thus the element of bravery (Al-Samman 43). She is also the image of physical erasure and the image of cultural injustice to women.

Salwa al-Neimi is also another character that is used to bring out the frustrations that the Arab women face. She is presented to be having nightmares of corpses under her bed, thus an image of the historical injustices to women, but through her perseverance, she succeeds to mend and rebuild herself up.

  1. What is the theme of the book? Mention 3 main themes (6 points)

The central theme of the book revolves around patriarchy, which is mainly since Arab women are taken to be subjects to their male counterparts. They are mistreated and are not exposed to equal opportunity and chances. The other underlying theme is a tradition that is presented through cultural occurrences in the Arab world (Al-Samman 49). An example of the traditions is one in which young girls were buried alive. Oppression of women is another theme discussed in the book. The women are frustrated by their male counterparts and are treated as slaves.

  1. How are the chapters organized? (2 points)

The book has eight chapters that are presided by an introduction that divulges what the book is all about. Every chapter has handled one specific topic discussed extensively with the content and themes building up from one chapter to the other, starting from the experience of women in diaspora to the inscribing of unspeakable secrets.

  1. What did you learn about the Contemporary Middle East from the book? Mention at least 3. (9 points)

Among the key points I learned from the contemporary middle east is the fact that there is women oppression where women are still treated as subjects to men and have lesser rights. Besides, I learned that the same women lack freedom while in their countries, thus making up the reason why the Arab women in the diaspora have the freedom to engage in the literature that uncovers the state of women in Arab countries. I also learned from the contemporary middle east has oppressive traditions and cultures that affect women.

  1. What did you like most about the book? Outline 2 things you liked (4 points)

What I liked fast about the book is the fact that it has tried to discuss the issues affecting the Arab women writers, especially those in the diaspora, but has included the writings of some of those best writers.

I also like the fact that the book candidly discloses the plight of Arab women writers, thus a sign of sensitization and the awakening of the women in the writing industry.

  1. What did you like least about the book? Mention 2. (4 points)

To start with, I did not like the flow of themes from one topic to another within the book. There is a little build-up to where one theme is introduced and build-up by the preceding chapters. Secondly, I did not like the fact that the book biasedly just articulated women’s issues and did not mention any of the privileges some of these Arab women have been given.

  1. If you had to recommend this book to someone, what would you tell them about the book? Mention 3 things (6 points)

I would first tell them the book offers you an opportunity to learn more about the occurrences of the contemporary Middle East. I would secondly tell them the books give you an insight into some of the prominent Arabic women writers and their works. I would also insist on the fact that the book is thrilling to read, and one can easily plan their reading using the chapters.

  1. For what purpose did the author write this book? Did he/she fulfill his/ her purpose? (6 points)

The author wrote this book to expose the grief of Arab women with an Arab woman’s point of view, which she succeeded. Further, she wanted to sensitize and create awareness of the oppression and the trauma that the Arab women face. The publication of the book is an indicator that the purse was fulfilled.

 Work Cited                            

Al-Samman, Hanadi. Anxiety Of Erasure. 1st ed., Syracuse University Press, 2015.

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