Writing Sexuality in the Autobiographical Form
A Reflection of Mona Prince’s Novel So You May See
This article explores the representation of the female body and sexuality in modern Arab women’s writing in Egypt, focusing on the 1990s generation and the emergence of a new literary trend of explicit writing, or so-called kitābath al-jasad, which exposes bodily subjects using explicit sexual language, prohibited sensual themes, and erotic fantasies as tools of revolt against social and political taboos and as a means of challenging extremist Islamic religious rhetoric and the patriarchal authority. My representative example of this generation and this writing is Egyptian novelist Mona Prince. In her novel, So You May See (2011), experience connects to nakedness protest movements by using the body as a key vehicle to protest fundamentalist religious powers that oppose women’s liberation. In both contexts of body protest (clothed or unclothed), female sexuality is the tool par excellence to combat religious extremist rhetoric that amplifies hostility towards women.