“Once I claimed a past, spoke my history, told my name, the walls of incomprehension and hostility rose, brick by brick: unfunny ‘ethnic’ jokes, jibes about terrorists and Kalashnikovs, about veiled women and camels … Searching for images of my Arab self in American culture I found only unrecognizable stereotypes,” says Lisa Suhair Majaj (1994, p. 67), depicting her experience of what it is like to be a Palestinian living in the US. This paper strives to shed light on precisely this search for the self in the “Other,” focusing on the discursive formation of an anti-essentialist Arab-American subjectivity entrenched in the Arab-American experience, through a close analysis of the delineation of the individual and communal selves in the works of three Arab-American writers: Suheir Hammad, Mohja Kahf, and Diana Abu-Jaber.
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