The publication of Nouri Gana’s Signifying Loss: Toward a Poetics of Narrative Mourning brings to fruition the ensemble of Gana’s decade-long reflections on literature and modern theories of mourning. While animated by a powerful impetus toward psychoanalytic (Freudian) and deconstructive (Derridean) analyses, Signifying Loss registers a noteworthy intervention in the intersecting fields of literary criticism and mourning studies by offering a close examination of the tropological configurations of “the work of mourning” (Trauerarbeit or travail du deuil) within a diverse body of modernist and post-colonial narratives ranging from James Joyce’s Dubliners and Jamaica Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother to Tahar Ben Jelloun’s The Last Friend and Elias Khoury’s City Gates. By choosing to focus on prose fiction instead of poetry, Gana goes against the critical grain and challenges the predominant assumption in mourning theory that poetic language (especially insofar as...

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