Negotiating Narrative in Transcultural Spaces by Leila Aboulela’s Minaret


Many Anglophone novelists attempt to conceptualize diverse experiences from their own transcultural spaces. They reflect how transcultural identities are burdened with cultural ambivalences and founded through a process of belonging, dislocation, alienation, and assimilation. This paper sets out to negotiate representation of narration in cultural spaces in Leila Aboulela’s Minaret (2005). She recreates the images of ‘home’ and ‘homeland’ through a process of cultural narration, she uses space metaphorically and aesthetically to negotiate transculturality. Transcultural space is movable and dynamic; it is generated by recognition and adaptation of others, causing a constant process of transformation and change, opening up a space for bridging and narrowing the differences, hyphen spaces, hybrid experiences, multiple identities and constructing a new mixed transcultural space of identification and attachment. Aboulela believes that in this way she does not exclude or alter her old values, memories and yet valorize the new. In this light, she tries to transform cultural, emotional, spiritual, and national differences into deference, assimilation and adaptation. Her journey is to move beyond one's immediate consciousnesses, circumstances and identities. Consequently, Aboulela strives to achieve mutual assimilation and nullifies differences and divisions for constructing oneness and a harmonious cultural space.


Majed Aladaylah



assimilation, difference, identity, narrative, transcultural space