Postmodernist Generic Transgressions, Fragmentation and Heteroglossia in Diana Abu Jaber’s Crescent

Nawel Zbidi


Diana Abu Jaber’s Crescent (2003) is a postmodernist Arab American novel that sheds light on the multicultural encounters in modern America. It highlights the different dichotomies surrounding various ethnic communities in a way to transcend them and to build cultural bridges. It seeks to forge a hybrid cultural integration and to promote understanding among separate ethnic groups living in the America. Generic transgressions of conventional storytelling are manifested in various ways in the novel such as the merging of fact and fiction and the mingling of literary genres. All these references are incorporated into the texture of the fairytale story and the main fictional story that go simultaneously in the novel. Like most postmodernist writers, Abu Jaber challenges the ideas of binary oppositions, disconnected boundaries and stable identities. She experiments with intertextuality, fragmentation, manifold narratives and narrators and various literary allusions. Through resorting to different discourses in this multilayered text, she creates what Bakhtin calls a ‘polyphonic’ text.


Generic transgressions, Postmodernism, Fragmentation, ‘Heteroglossia’, dialogism, polyphony.

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