Francophone Sephardic Fiction: Writing Migration, Diaspora, and Modernity (Hardcover)
Francophone Sephardic Fiction: Writing Migration, Diaspora, and Modernity approaches modern Sephardic literature in a comparative way to draw out similarities and differences among selected francophone novelists from various countries, with a focus on North Africa. The definition of Sepharad here is broader than just Spain: it embraces Jews whose ancestors had lived in North Africa for centuries, even before the arrival of Islam, and who still today trace their allegiance to ways of being Jewish that go back to Babylon, as do those whose ancestors spent a few hundred years in Iberia. The author traces the strong influence of oral storytelling on modern novelists of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and explores the idea of the portable homeland, as exile and migration engulfed the long-rooted Sephardic communities. The author also examines diaspora concepts, how modernity and post-modernity threatened traditional ways of life, and how humor and an active return into history for the novel have done more than mere nostalgia could to enliven the portable homeland of modern francophone Sephardic fiction.
Judith Roumani is founder and director of the Jewish Institute of Pitigliano.