Mapping Spaces, Identities, and Ideologies in The Parisian (2019)


Author: Fadwa Kamal Abdel Rahman, Ain Shams University, Egypt
Published: July 28, 2021

Citation: Rahman, F. K. A. (2021). Mapping Spaces, Identities, and Ideologies in The Parisian (2019). IAFOR Journal of Literature & Librarianship, 10(1).


The Parisian (2019) is Isabella Hammad’s debut novel. It provides a dynamic spatial representation of a transitional era and a history that was unfolding and changing the face of the earth at the critical time between the two World Wars. Adopting the realistic tradition of nineteenth- century novelists, Isabella Hammad manages to provide a textual cartography of the places she dealt with in the Levantine and in France, mapping alongside the evolving sense of identity in the wake of drastic political, social, and cultural changes. By depicting those parallel worlds, the text dissects the Nabulsi society and reveals the heterogeneity that underlies its superficial homogeneity. It also introduces those spaces, specially Nablus, discursively bringing out their many facets through multifocalization. This paper aims at showing how the text underscores both the subjective experiential sense of place and the objective analytical and ideological sense of how place materializes the fabric of immanent relations of power. This is done through a geocritical approach that links together the literary representation with the lived spatial referent in ways that help readers understand a lot about the past and the present of this part of the world.


Isabella Hammad, geocriticism, history, postcolonial literature, identity, Nablus