Unjust Identity Quest: Sahar Khalife’s the Inheritance: A Post-Colonial Study


In Sahar Khalifeh’s novel The Inheritance, the reader is immersed in a hysterical world of various Diasporas revealed between the US and Palestine. Most characters are in the process of identity quest; a journey that acquires a greater importance and difficulty in this novel because it mirrors the Palestinians’ search for home and national existence.The novel takes place in a post _Oslo ME and focusses on the doubly- lived Diaspora of several Palestinian women: Zayna, Fitna, Violet and Nahleh. Zayna, the narrator, is half American and half Palestinian whose disorienting experience of living in two worlds and belonging to none forces her to go back to Palestine.This reveals the Diaspora of Fitna, her step-mother who was artificially inseminated of her dying husband, Zayna’s father, just to guarantee the inheritance. Torn up between modern technological Israel and aching worn out Palestine, Fitna’s post-labor death at the end is normal. On the other hand, Nahleh and Violet had been working in the Gulf for years supporting their families. After the first Gulf War, they come home to find that there was no place for them but a cage of social customs. Nahleh gets a failed marriage that only increases her psychological diaspora while Violet the Christian woman just understands that there was no future and immigrated to the US.In their attempts to explore and overcome their Diasporas, Khalifeh’s character keep creating new ones and returning to them in a way. However, there is always a stress on “Return” in her work.

Author Information
Mona Elnamoury, University of Tanta, Egypt

Paper Information
Conference: LibEuro2016
Stream: Literature - Indigenous People’s/Ethnic Literatures & Minority Discourses

This paper is part of the LibEuro2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon