Professor Si Mohamed Laamiri on Maghrebi Literature in English
December 22, 2008
Writing North Africa: Maghrebi Literature in English, A General Introduction and Bibliography "Who in Morocco was, or is, interested in a Moroccan writing creative fiction in English?"
For about four and a half centuries, North Africa and its people were portrayed in hundreds of texts, travel accounts, reports, documents and other literary genres. Maghrebis did not even know about those writings because they did not speak English. Today things are changing and a return to those early travel writings is gradually established through academic research in North African universities. We now witness the emergence of a Maghrebi creative literature in English in the form of poems, short stories, novels and plays. This paper provides a general introduction to a burgeoning North literature in English and a preliminary bibliography of this literature. However, we must reckon that the gathering of a corpus of this Literature was not easy not because of quantity but because of scarcity and the absence of any previous bibliographical work on the subject and the difficulty to trace individual publications in small and unknown local press houses or in out of reach publications by the North African Diaspora in Anglophone countries. In 2003, a doctoral thesis prepared by Jacqueline Jondot entitled 'Les Ecrivains d'Expression Anglaise au Proche Orient Arabe' was defended at the Sorbonne in Paris. In this gigantic work of about 1400 pages the only Maghrebi writers referred to are Anouar Majid and Sabiha Khemir in an understandable unawareness of a number of North African creative texts in English. In fact, the author admits that:
L'établissement d'un corpus de textes de fiction d'expression anglaise au Proche-Orient arabe s'est vite révélé difficile et le résultat frustrant puisqu'il est très réduit et, comme on le