This article offers a reading of Suzanne Fisher Staples's novels Shabanu, Haveli,and Under the Persimmon Tree, drawing on postcolonial theory (in particular, Chandra Talpade Mohanty's essay "Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses" and Edward Said's Orientalism) to inform its analysis of the construction of girls and women in these texts. It argues that the novels' representations of Muslim girls are built on a naturalized contrast between liberal humanist paradigms of individualism and personal freedom, and homogenizing depictions of oppressed Muslim females, thus producing Orientalist distinctions between the West and the Orient.
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