This essay compares the draft and published versions of three central chapters in Rajia Hassib’s 2015 novel In the Language of Miracles, as a smaller instance of what John Bryant terms a revision narrative. The key differences in characterization across the evolution of the narrative, along with the elements of a related character that remain largely unchanged, indicate the ways in which Hassib negotiates public and private versions of a gendered Arab American identity. By revising one chapter to remove a scene depicting a public assault in a pharmacy, the essay concludes, Hassib resists familiar narratives constraining Arab American subjects within a post-9/11 Orientalism.
Young, John K..
"Versions of an Arab American Identity: Toward a Revision Narrative for Rajia Hassib’s In the Language of Miracles."