Unreliable Author: Narrative Duality in Sonallah Ibrahim’s ʾAmrīkānlī
In his novel ʾAmrīkānlī (2003), Sonallah Ibrahim contextualizes individuality and history within a narrative of decaying academia, ineffectual sexual desire and identities determined more often by ethnicity and heritage than by a genuine search for truth. Ibrahim’s novel conceptualizes the intersection of the literary and the historical by introducing autobiographical elements, set in binary oppositions of the public and the private, the academic and the personal, the objective and the subjective. Ibrahim’s semi-autobiographical fiction stages a comparison between history and literature, positing literature as an alternative to historical questions. This article examines the duality of the unreliable narrator as authorial voice in ʾAmrīkānlī, highlighting how Ibrahim’s narrative embodies the binary existence of the main ideas that the novel addresses by constantly emphasizing the availability of two perspectives.
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