L’identità femminile – personale, sociale e globale – in Love in a Headscarf di Janmohamed e The Caged Virgin di Hirsi Ali

by Ellen Patat

The present paper concentrates on the female figure and her identity (trans) formation in the autobiographical accounts Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed and The Caged Virgin by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Within a comparative framework, the objective is to understand how the two authors execute and perceive those typical mediations and syntheses of the first or second generation of immigrants. Both, albeit from different positions, express the conscious intention to contribute to the representation of the Muslim woman in the debate on the clash of civilisations currently raging in Europe. The divergence of texts, both on a thematic and formal level, and the convergence of intent indicate a plurality and complementarity of synthesis. In exploring the identity in every single aspect – personal, social and global – the typical dynamics of cultural hybridisation that are expressed in objects, subjects, and social places are observed.