AWEJ for translation & Literary Studies Volume, 1 Number 4, October 2017                                       Pp.95-106

Displacement and Identity in Ahdaf Soueif’s Sandpiper and Melody 

Mira Hafsi

Department of English Language and Literature
Mohamed Lamine Debaghine University Setif -2


Abstract PDF

This paper presents a literary study that is concerned with the experience of crossing cultures and theme of not belonging. It examines the condition of displacement and its effects on the identity of the female protagonists in two short stories written by Ahdaf Soueif: Sandpiper and Melody. The researcher’s investigation relies on recent postcolonial criticism provided by Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak and Homi Bhabha. As such, this paper explores: the representation of the Arab culture in the the Western thought; the way linguistic hegemony is subverted through the use of a hybridized version of  English; and the agency of the subaltern through using the English language as a vehicle for the transmission of Diasporic Arab female voices and concerns. This paper concludes that Ahdaf Soueif succeeds in painting an original view of the effect of the state of displacement on the psyche of her female subjects, highlighting the semi-autobiographical aspect which is used as a means to express a quest for identity. The writer also succeeds in writing back to the colonial metropolis against the hegemonic imperialist discourse. Moreover, the writer goes beyond postcolonial writing in her literary endeavor as an appeal towards developing approaches for the modern-day challenges of globalization.

Cite as:

Hafsi, M. (2017). Displacement and Identity in Ahdaf Soueif’s Sandpiper and Melody. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies, 1(4).


Hafsi Mira is an assistant lecturer at Mohamed Lamine Debaghine University Setif 2, Algeria.
She has a BA in English Language and Literature from Ferhat Abbas University in Setif and a
Magister degree in Advanced Academic and Literary Writing Studies from the Teachers’
Training School in Constantine. She specializes in Postcolonial Literature with interests in
Women writing, Diaspora literature, and Cultural Studies.