Exile and Expatriation in Modern American and Palestinian Writing

  • Ahmad Rasmi Qabaha

About this book


This book examines the distinction between literary expatriation and exile through a 'contrapuntal reading' of modern Palestinian and American writing. It argues that exile, in the Palestinian case especially, is a political catastrophe; it is banishment by a colonial power. It suggests that, unlike expatriation (a choice of a foreign land over one’s own), exile is a political rather than an artistic concept and is forced rather than voluntary — while exile can be emancipatory, it is always an unwelcome loss. In addition to its historical dimension, exile also entails a different perception of return to expatriation. This book frames expatriates as quintessentially American, particularly intellectuals and artists seeking a space of creativity and social dissidence in the experience of living away from home. At the heart of both literary discourses, however, is a preoccupation with home, belonging, identity, language, mobility and homecoming.


Exile Expatriation Palestine American literature Palestinian literature Edward Said Postcolonialism Displacement Middle East Langston Hughes Zora Neale Hurston Modernism Malcolm Cowley Ernest Hemingway Gertrude Stein Thomas Wolfe Jabra Ibrahim Jabra Mourid Barghouti

Authors and affiliations

  • Ahmad Rasmi Qabaha
    • 1
  1. 1.An-Najah National UniversityNablusPalestine, State of

Bibliographic information