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Short Story as Genre

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Maria Assif

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Thursday February 27th, 2014
ENGC51H3S- Short Story as a Genre
Monday evening Journals due. Submit journal every week about the readings.
Show interaction with readings.
Late 19th century, emergence of the short story
Europe already knew short story as clear and respectable genre.
Arab writers that immigrated to Europe and came back and adopted the short
story genre.
Loved it b/c it was short, could be published as part of journalism, short story
guarantee detachment,
Highlight of genre is 50’s onward—short story
Short story is now considered popular literary writing for Arab writers
Short, manageable, allows creativity, different formats, written on the side thing,
it can be a side job and you can still be a stay at home mom or even Professor.
Arab women writers in both Arab world and diaspora.
Hanan Al-Shaykh- el-Sheikh-lebanese british writers, Lebanese in origin but lived
in Britain for past 25 years. She experiments with different formats, known for
this. Touch upon many subjects, Lebanese women and their struggles. Marriage
institution, family, motherhood-daughter relationship.
Alifa Rifaat (Egyptian)- can only writer short stories when both her father and
husband passed away, because they did not see this as right. She decided to not
confront them whilst they were alive, good example. Shows decision to write is
not an easy one.
Zabya Khamis (UAE)detained for 5 months without any convictions for writing a
short story about a women who is oppressed and looking for her sexual feeling.
Creative writing of these Arab writers came at a price.
50’s important part of this genre happened because of contact with the west.
Page 90- Short Story- Khairiya Saqqaf- In A Contemporary House-1981
Saudi writer- she is a journalist by training and a Professor
Had many legal troubles because of the short stories she wrote; detained for
writing them. Common procedure in many Arab countries—issue with
Her writing is very short, but very powerful.
About young woman who feels so stifled in her house.
Way she describes house is not just a setting, but character as if the house
speaks. Technical short story, uses description of curtains, walls, house as
being cold almost like a body. About her own body, but reflective of the house
too. House and woman are both stifled by the house.
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