Review by Choice Review
This study considers the works of a number of Algerian-born women writers and their exploration and/or expression of Algeria in their writing. Rice (Univ. of Notre Dame) anchors the book in an examination of the writings of Helene Cixous and Assia Dejbar, but she also explores the writings of Marie Cardinal, Maissa Bey, Malika Mokeddem, Leila Sebbar, and Zahia Rahmani. Thus the book presents a wide diversity of women in terms of ethnicity (Arab, Berber, pied-noir, mixed heritage), religion (Muslim, Christian, Jewish), and also of generation (writers who began publishing in the 1950s and 1960s and those whose careers began more recently). The author focuses on two elements strongly present in these women's writings: first, the multiplicity of voices that the writers seek to represent and express and, second, their personal role as witnesses testifying to their own Algerian experiences. It is these two elements--plurivocality and testimony--that Rice seeks to capture in the book's title. Rich in detail and quite well researched, Polygraphies is a significant contribution to the study of women's writing and of Maghrebi literature. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. D. L. Boudreau Mercyhurst University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.