Comparative Literature

The Literary Qur'an:

Narrative Ethics in the Maghreb

Fordham University Press, 2019 


Literary critic Hoda El Shakry opens The Literary Qur’an with memories of her childhood studies of the text and how this early reading work “inflected my literary sensibilities and fostered a critical curiosity about the ethics of reading.” Noting the absence of The Qur’an from debates within world literature until quite recently, she takes up an analysis of the relationship between this religious text and narrative through a reading of North African literature. Pushing back against an easy distinction between the secular versus the religious in the field of comparative literature, The Literary Qur’an examines the “narrative possibilities embedded within and afforded by theological discourse”

"The Literary Qur’an provides an exceptionally rich framework for considering how religion informs the reading of North African literature. With agility and grace, the book presents clear arguments, imaginative readings, and pathways for teaching, thinking, and reflecting on these literary novels."
 Michael Allan,
University of Oregon

Hoda El Shakry is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. Her teaching and research interests lie in modern literature, criticism, and visual culture of the Middle East and North Africa. Her scholarship traverses the fields of modern Arabic and Francophone North African literature, Mediterranean studies, Islam and secular criticism, postcolonial studies, aesthetic theory, as well as gender and sexuality studies.