Trim: 6¼ x 9½
978-0-7391-9836-0 • Hardback • October 2015 • $102.00 • (£78.00)
978-0-7391-9837-7 • eBook • October 2015 • $96.50 • (£74.00)
Pamela Pears is associate professor of French at Washington College.
Chapter 1: Introduction: What’s in/on a Cover?
Chapter 2: The Orientalist Painting
Chapter 3: The Desert
Chapter 4: The Veil
Chapter 5: The Author Photograph
Epilogue: The Recto-Verso Effect
About the Author
Front Cover Iconography and Algerian Women’s Writing provides unprecedented insights into the ways in which the paratext participates in the process of making meaning when it comes to reading and interpreting works of literature by women writers with a connection to Algeria. Pamela Pears compels us in this fascinating study to consider these literary creations as a whole, taking into account the complex factors that contribute to the presentation of works by Nina Bouraoui, Assia Djebar, and Malika Mokeddem.
— H-France Review
Pears’s literary and visual analysis is excellent, accurate, and detailed. The study is very well researched and organized. The book represents a significant contribution to knowledge in the field. It is consistently strong throughout, especially in the section on Djebar and Orientalist painting. This is all the more remarkable given the large amount of scholarship dedicated to Djebar’s works. This superb study will be profitably read by specialists of Algerian and French literature and scholars interested in postcolonial, feminist, and visual arts issues. Because it is written in a clear style that is enjoyable to read, the book can also be assigned in graduate and even undergraduate student courses, where it will be effective in helping students learn to analyze the ideological ramifications of visual and literary representations and to read the texts both with and beyond such constraining frameworks. The publication of this book also confirms the continuing scholarly excellence of Lexington Books’ After the Empire series, which has established itself as one of the top publication outlets for francophone postcolonial studies.
— Contemporary French Civilization
Pamela Pears’s study adopts an original approach to reading francophone literature in its focus not only on the text but also on the paratext. Taking three important Algerian women writers as her focus — Assia Djebar, Nina Bouraoui, and Malika Mokeddem — Pears’s textual readings set up a dialogue between word and image, and examine the works’ content alongside the marketing strategies deployed by their publishers. . . .Pears’s analyses are lively and engaging, then, and open up productive new perspectives on the works themselves. . . .[T]he book is an engaging read, and certainly helps to raise new questions about the rapidly developing field of francophone Algerian literature.
— French Studies
This passionate, original work addresses the role that the paratextual components (cover illustration, dust jacket, banner, promotional description, author bios, etc.) play in the interpretation of works produced by Algerian writers, writers of Algerian origin, or writers with a connection to Algeria.... [W]e highly recommend this work that, beyond Maghreb or strictly francophone studies, will immediately appeal to every reader interested in the relationship, and the meaning of the relationship, between the image (recto) and the text (verso). [Translated from the original French]
— French Review
In this refreshingly original and important study, Pears discusses the complex impact of paratexts in a number of canonical North African texts. Insightful and thought-provoking, Front Cover Iconography and Algerian Women’s Writing further reexamines popular topoi, such as the desert and the veil, and their manifold heuristic implications in novels, testimonials, and translations. Pears invites her readers to critically revisit well-known texts in light of potentially misleading embedded paratextual messages. A must-read for any Maghreb specialist or aficionado.
— Christa Jones, Utah State University
This is a beautifully conceived and clearly written study that examines the intricate interconnections between text and image in the publications of Algerian women writers.
— Alison Rice, University of Notre Dame