Branding: The Veiled Best-seller

Gillian Whitlock

in Soft Weapons

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780226895253
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226895277 | DOI:
Branding: The Veiled Best-seller

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This chapter evaluates Jean Sasson's Mayada. Critics rarely look at best-selling life narratives, although of course many readers do. The connections of life story and book markets to geopolitics are scarcely veiled at all. The fate of Norma Khouri's hoax life narrative Honor Lost, a generic sibling of Mayada and a contemporaneous publication, is a reminder of how important this assertion by a genuine native subject must be. The narrative structure of Mayada is a complex series of life narratives that circle around the oppression of women in Iraq. It presents some hope for a smooth transition to a Western style democracy in Iraq. Both Sasson and Mayada al-Askari respond to criticisms of Mayada and use the website to reinforce their intention that “this book makes readers admire and respect Arab women.” It is noted that the veiled best-seller is clearly a potent weapon in propaganda wars now.

Keywords: veiled best-seller; Jean Sasson; Mayada; Norma Khouri; Honor Lost; weapon; Iraq; Arab women

Chapter.  7616 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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