Beginning in the 1980s and gathering force in the last decade of the twentieth century, Moroccan women writers have become the latest group of Middle Eastern women to break their silence by writing both fiction and non-fiction. The Myth of the Silent Woman examines representative French-language texts from Moroccan women writers. Suellen Diaconoff situates these works in a discourse of social justice and reform, arguing that they contribute to the emerging national debate on democracy and help to create new public spaces of discourse and participation.
In novels and short stories, essays and memoirs, including one powerful text by a dissident and former political prisoner, these authors contest hegemonic systems of thought and practice, reappraise traditional spaces and limits, shatter taboos and transgress borders. In so doing, they profoundly undermine easy assumptions about Arab women, feminism, and democracy, while boldly challenging the stereotype of the silent woman.