AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 6, Number 4. October  2022                                Pp.142-151

Soueif’s Aisha: A Portrait of Memory, Time, and Liberation

Department of English, Faculty of Letters and Languages
University of Oran 2 Mohamed Ben Ahmed Oran, Algeria


This paper explores The Returning, which is a short story written by Ahdaf Soueif. The Returning is selected from the author’s first collection of short stories entitled Aisha which was written in 1983. It is Soueif’s first fictional work. This paper focuses on the way the author depicts her female protagonist named, Aisha, as a nostalgic character. Aisha revisits her past and bumps into lost memories with her husband. Soueif also portrays Aisha’s transformation into a liberated and liberating female character. Aisha transcends time and the clutches of her past to claim a fresh start. This paper attempts to reveal how the author focuses on her protagonist’s memory and journey throughout her past, returning to the present. It also focuses on the author’s utilization of time-shift technique to depict her protagonist’s set-forth liberation and that of her story from oblivion and the chains of a lost past. This paper reveals an alternative vision of female characters detached from clichéd female portraits. It also unwinds creative images of time as flexible and co-existing entities; past, present, and future.

Cite as:

Brahimi, S.  (2022). Soueif’s Aisha: A Portrait of Memory, Time, and Liberation .  Arab World English
Journal for Translation & Literary Studies
6 (4) 142-151.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol6no4.10


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Dr. Samira BRAHIMI is a lecturer of business English at l’Ecole Supérieure d’Economie d’Oran (Oran Graduate School of Economics). She obtained her Ph.D. in Literature and Civilization from the University of Oran 2 Mohamed Ben Ahmed (Department of English, Faculty of Letters and Languages). Her areas of interest include the representations of female characters, time shift, and the use of narrative techniques in fiction works. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5306-1876