Kuwaiti Women Writers and Anglophone Choices: Charting New Territories


While there has been a plethora of work on Arab women writers, little attention has been paid to Kuwaiti women writers, especially those who write Anglophone literature. This research paper argues that the choice to write in English rather than Arabic leaves these writers in a problematic position. As a result of embracing the English language, rather than their mother tongue, they are left outside of the dominant literary circle and often marginalized. Through a literary analysis, this paper presents some of the texts written by contemporary Kuwaiti writers who have chosen to write in English, and have produced nuanced narratives of Kuwaiti women who find agency and self-expression through their fictional journeys. These journeys explore themes of agency, voice, and trauma. A significant contribution of the present paper lies in a thematic analysis of lesser-known Kuwaiti texts in order to excavate these marginalized voices. The findings suggest that by choosing to write in English, these writers face the dangers of being dismissed from the literary canon, just like their protagonists must contend with society’s discrimination and expectations.


Shahd Alshammari


Anglophone, Kuwait, Kuwaiti fiction, Middle East, women