Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2017

Published In

Expressions Maghrébines


In the current social climate of an increasingly normalized Islamophobia, representations of Islam and Muslim women are as problematic as ever. This is partly due to the risk run by any cultural production dealing with the patriarchy and women's oppression in the Arab-muslim world of being instrumentalized. Accordingly, any such production must be considered alongside questions of its intended consumption or its possible complicity with the dominant order. With this in mind, the article examines Saphia Azzeddine's last novel, Bilqiss. It analyzes the literary strategies the author deploys in order to counter expectations about Muslim women from Western readers, and in particular readers from the Hexagon. We contend that Azzeddine's refutation of her characters' positions, which are often extreme to the point of caricature, allows her to develop a conversation around the so-called contemporary confrontations between East and West, forcing her readers to move beyond the sensationalized representations and the problematic interest Islam continues to generate in the West.


This work is freely available courtesy of the publisher.