In this first edited collection in English on Abdellah Taïa, Denis M. Provencher and Siham Bouamer frame the distinctiveness of the Moroccan author’s migration by considering current scholarship in French and Francophone studies, post-colonial studies, affect theory, queer theory, and language and sexuality. In contrast to critics that consider Taïa to immigrate and integrate successfully to France as a writer and intellectual, Provencher and Bouamer argue that the author’s writing is replete with elements of constant migration, “comings and goings,” cruel optimism, flexible accumulation of language over borders, transnational filiations, and new forms of belonging and memory making across time and space. At the same time, his constantly evolving identity emerges in many non-places, defined as liminal and border narrative spaces where unexpected and transgressive new forms of belonging emerge without completely shedding shame, mourning, or melancholy.
Denis M. Provencher is professor of French and Francophone studies and head of the department of French and Italian at the University of Arizona.
Siham Bouamer is assistant professor of French and Francophone studies at Sam Houston State University.
Introduction: Reconsidering Abdellah Taïa’s Queer Migration
Denis M. Provencher and Siham Bouamer
Part One: On Place and Non-Place
1“Sortir de tous les territoires”: To Be a Racialized and Colonized Subject within France Today. Is There for Abdellah Taïa a There Where to Go and to Exist?
2Sexual Fluidity and Movements in Abdellah Taïa’s L’armée du salut: The Birth of a Queer Moroccan Francophone IdentityOlivier Le Blond
3Marginal Masculinities: Disidentifying Sexual Performativity Across Abdellah Taïa’s Novels
Part Two: Affective Migration
4He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: Cruel Optimism in Abdellah Taïa’s L’armée du salut
5Queerness, Shame, and the Family in Abdellah Taïa’s Epistolary Writing
Ryan K. Schroth
6Mourning and Reconciliation: Anger, Politics, and Love
Part Three: Postcolonial Temporalities
7Abdellah Taïa’s Melancholic Migration: Oscillation between Solitude and Multitude
8From the “Garçon du bled” to Tintin’s Dog: The Interplay between Race and Sex in Abdellah Taïa’s Un pays pour mourir and Celui qui est digne d’être aimé
9Adbellah Taïa’s Transflilial Myth Making and Unfaithful Realms of Memory
Denis M. Provencher
Part Four: New Directions and Conclusions
10The Voices of Reappropriation
11Des hommes fatigués
12 Tired Men
Abdellah Taïa translated by Denis M. Provencher
Conclusion: New Directions for Abdellah Taïa and the Field