This essay examines contemporary Algerian women’s condition, as it is articulated in Djebar’s autobiographical novel, Vaste est la prison (1995). After giving an overview of modern Algerian history, I offer a reading of Djebar’s novel that takes account of its potential to produce social change. This essay demonstrates that Djebar blurs the boundaries between autobiography, fiction and history in order to fully utilize the subversive potential of writing. Using the perspective of new historicism, I show how Djebar responds to her country’s unilateralism in language and its exclusion of women by her unique rhetorical strategies, in order to restore women’s rightful place in Algerian history and present-day society. Djebar challenges traditional patriarchal structures by demonstrating how Algerian women throughout history have been agents of change who have transmitted their multilingual cultural heritage from generation to generation.
Writing as Resistance: Assia Djebar’s Vaste est la prison.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 11(4), 83-96.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol11/iss4/6