AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 7, Number 2. May 2023 Pp.31-43

Beyond Victims and Perpetrators of September 11: The Implicated Subject in Inaam Kachachi’s The American Granddaughter

Noorah Kaddah Saad Alqahtani

The Department of English Language and Literature
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


September 11 events took a heavy toll on many countries, particularly Iraq. Ever since those events, the white American literary and critical responses dominated the mainstream of the 9/11 novel subgenre with a significant focus on the resulting trauma on white Americans. Therefore, this paper seeks to broaden the critical scope of the 9/11 novel subgenre apart from the white American majority by implementing trauma theory to view the impact of 9/11 events on Iraqi people in their homeland as represented in Inaam Kachachi’s (2008) The American Granddaughter. Its significance lies in attempting to decenter the 9/11 trauma by shifting the debate from the ethical and legal accountability of who destroyed whom to foregrounding other sites of injustices that attest to forms of the implication and voice earlier suppressed pains and worries. The main question is how Kachachi, a Paris-based Iraqi novelist, portrayed the 9/11 traumatic aftermath in the novel through the perspective of an Iraqi/American female interpreter who worked for the American army during the Iraq War. Drawing on trauma theory, this study investigates the protagonist’s complex position, which best exemplifies Michael Rothberg’s theory of implication, where a participant in a traumatic experience occupies a position aligned with power and privilege without being a direct agent of harm. This paper finds that the novel contributes to the 9/11 novel counternarratives and confirms the implication of Iraqi/American people during the Iraq War that divulged the silenced personal and collective traumatic narratives spanning several Iraqi generations.

Cite as:

Alqahtani, N. K. S.  (2023). Beyond Victims and Perpetrators of September 11: The Implicated Subject in Inaam Kachachi’s The American Granddaughter. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 7 (2): 31-43.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol7no2.3


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Noorah Kaddah Alqahtani is a Ph.D. candidate at King Saud University, Saudi Arabia. She is a lecturer at King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia.  Her area of interest revolves around the 9/11 novel subgenre, which raises debatable issues like conspiracy theories, national and international trauma, Islamophobia, and others. ORCid ID:https://orcid.org/0009-0001-3464-0976