New Women and Novel Characters

  • Samah Selim
Part of the Literatures and Cultures of the Islamic World book series (LCIW)


This chapter examines the way in which the “new woman” figure was constituted in Egypt at the turn of the century as a dangerous reader of fiction and, in turn, as an unsecured text. Selim focuses on two Egyptian male-authored novels that inscribe this problematic on the body of the new woman in reformist terms: the education of women (Wealth and Want, 1904) and a newly constituted ethics of erotic love (Egypt’s Secrets, 1906). She then turns to examine a pseudotranslation (A Secret to End All Secrets, 1906) by the Lebanese writer, educator and feminist Esther Moyal, which mobilizes a variety of adaptation strategies to parody and challenge the disciplinary concerns and masculine anxieties of the reformist author.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samah Selim
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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