Female Character’s Multi-Faceted Self: Individuality in Short Fiction Written by Afghan Female Writers after 1978

Many years of civil war and invasions in Afghanistan had destroyed or ruptured fundamental structures as and well as education and literary productions. The women were on the forefront of elimination from education and literary scene let alone that before this elimination the trend of writing was traditionally in the hands of men and was considered a manly area. Nonetheless female writers actively tried to let their voice be heard by penning their experience in the modern literary genre of short fiction. Modern fiction with its polyphonic and dialogic nature reflects multiple aspects of female characters selves in relation to socio-political and ideological discourse. This project therefore intends to examine the multi aspects of self and individuality in short fiction written by Afghan female writers after 1978.

Each chapter in this project will explore the concept of self in one narration in relation to the concepts such as space, diaspora, emancipation, integration, trauma and marginalisation and otherness. In closing, through a bridge of intertextuality, the concept of self and individuality will be analysed.

The time frame of this study, therefore, spans the period from 1978 onward, firstly because the outstanding works of Afghan female writers were created mainly as a result of social reforms beginning with the administration of Muḥamad Dāwūd ḫān and continued after the "Sawr coup d’état" and secondly because the "Sawr coup d'état" marked the commencement of an era of ongoing civil war and foreign intervention which subsequently reflected in the works of Afghan female writers.

I will focus on writers such as, Spojmai Raū ʾf Zaryāb, Mahbūbeh Bayānī, Maryam Mahbūb, Fawzīya Rahguzar. My criterion for selecting the aforementioned female writers is their prominent position in literary theory. A further significant criterion for me involved the fact that these women writers meet the standards of modern writing. I select the narratives that are penned in Persian/ Dari and originated outside of Afghanistan, that is, in the diaspora. Ultimately, their work should provide answers to my research questions.