Lesbianism as Another Alternative for the Other: A Punishment or an Escape? The Saudi Novel "al-Akharun/The Others" as a Sample


Saudi women

How to Cite

Bishara, H. (2019). Lesbianism as Another Alternative for the Other: A Punishment or an Escape? The Saudi Novel "al-Akharun/The Others" as a Sample. Al-Raida Journal, 43(1), 36 - 55. https://doi.org/10.32380/alrj.v43i1.1747


World Literature has witnessed the appearance of many novels that focus on the physical experiences of the “body” and deal with sexual themes. In their historical context, these novels represent a protest against the social moral values and search for alternatives. Among these novels are Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Anna Karenina, and Madame Bovary. In Arabic literature, the Egyptian writer Ihsan Abd al-Qudous laid the foundation for this type of novel.  

Literature has developed through breaking the barrier of taboos and adopting different forms. One of the controversial issues, whose red lines literature has crossed, is the issue of sex, which exists in every human relationship between males and females. The Arabic novel has addressed sexual taboos and dealt with them as an adventure still in its initial stages despite numerous significant contributions that have appeared in the 20th century.   

Recently, Saudi Arabian women writers have broken various taboos and dealt with the problems that they confront as women in the Kingdom by employing the themes of sex, the body, and other taboo issues. Some critics accused these writers of trying to draw attention to themselves by exploiting these subjects to increase their readership. In fact, these novelists have exposed new phenomena in conservative Saudi society and broken the stereotypical image of conservative Saudi women. This study deals with Saba al-Herz’ novel al-Akharun/The Others as a sample of these novels.

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