Hanadi Al-Samman’s Anxiety of Erasure: Trauma, Authorship, and the Diaspora in Arab Women’s Writing (2015) and Amira Jarmakani’s An Imperialist Love Story: Desert Romances and the War on Terror (2015) share an analytic investment in gender as an axis of subject formation in transnational literatures. Al-Samman studies the work of Arab women writers in the diaspora to understand how women navigate authorship in patriarchal contexts and how the writers’ social position as diasporic women informs their literary production. For Jarmakani, the American desert romance novel, marked by the use of the desert and the sheikh as tropes, models imperial constructions of gender and sexuality that not only produce heteronormative subjects but echo and justify the logic of the United States’ war on terror. An Imperialist Love Story looks to the representation of race, gender, and sexuality in desert...

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