Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The Representation of Fatherhood by the Arab Diaspora in the United States

Marta Bosch


This article1 analyzes three debut novels –Alicia Erian’s Towelhead (2005), Laila Halaby’s West of the Jordan (2003), and Diana Abu-Jaber’s Arabian Jazz (1993)– in order to explore the representation of fatherhood by the Arab diaspora in the United States. To do so, it will draw on Ralph La Rossa’s notion of “new father”, and on Julie Peteet’s and Daniel Monterescu’s ideas about Arab masculinity. It will then analyze the main father figures in the novels under the light of these concepts. It will finally conclude that the different existing models of Arab fatherhood move from traditionalism to liberalism, and that allows the possibility of “new fatherhoods” to emerge.

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