A SETBACK INTO THE BODY: A STUDY OF WOMAN IDENTITY AND NATIONAL IDENTITY IN AHLAM MOSTEGHANEMI'S MEMORY IN THE FLESH (THAKIRAT AL-JASAD)
The current study is an endeavor to investigate the woman identity and national identity in a well-known Iraqi novel byMosteghani as a woman writer. The novel starts out as a love-letter to a woman, it slowly unravels the idealization of the Arab homeland and forces the narrator to reconstruct what it means to be an Arab and Algerian. As the love between Khalid and Ahlam proves treacherous, so does the Algerian city of Constantine emerge.Thakirat al-Jasad (Memory in the Flesh, 1993), is dedicated to the author's militant father and to the Francophone Algerian poet and novelist, Malek Haddad (1927-78), a literary god-father of sorts to Mosteghanemi, who decided after the independence of Algeria in 1962 not to write in a foreign language any more, and ended up not writing at all. It is concluded that memory in the Flesh has the merit of presenting a rare glimpse of the feelings of the progeny of the martyrs. Long neglected by literature, they are now taking the stand to tell their own story.