Tag Archives: Oriental gaze

Representation of Working Women in Zoe Ferraris’ City Of Veils (Published)

In the struggle between communities and nations for dominance, issues pertaining to women’s lives may be politicized to fit a particular paradigm. Gender may be linked to nation when it comes to representing the veiled lives of Muslim women in the Middle East. The literary market may spur the native fiction writers to gaze into the lives of women as exotic objects of study. This paper investigates Zoe Ferraris’ City of Veils to examine the possibilities of embedded politics of representation in the narrated experiences of working women in Saudi Arabia. Ferraris’ approach has been restrained seeking agency for Saudi women as she blurs the private/public space boundaries allowing women a movement from non-space to recognition. Though there are signs that Ferraris links gender and nation to highlight the struggle of women in Saudi Arabia, her narrative avoids the trap of labels like “westernized,” “oriental gaze,” influenced by “western cultural invasion.”

Keywords: Cultural Imperialism, Islamic identity, Murder mystery, Oriental gaze, Representation of working women, Women’s agency