Despite their physical distance from each other in terms of time and place, the Turkish Halide Edip (1882–1964) and the Algerian Assia Djebar (1936–2015) wrote in surprisingly similar ways. They share a multicultural and multilingual education and position as writing subjects. As Muslim women writers in the modern literary world, they traverse political, literary, and linguistic borders. This essay explores their autobiographical writings, Djebar’s Fantasia (1993) and Edip’s Memoirs (Adıvar 2004), where they contest colonialism, nationalism, and patriarchy.

Who is the Muslim woman writer? The last few decades have witnessed a number of invaluable studies that examine the question, working mainly in a framework of ethnic, national, and linguistic origins (see Badran and cooke 2004; Brookshaw 2013; cooke 2001; Fernea and Bezirgan 1977; Havlioğlu 2010; Malti-Douglas 1991; Mehta 2014). As...

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