Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

The Intersections of Masculinity and Disability in Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns and Leila Aboulela’s Lyrics Alley

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2022), 16, (2), 131–143.

Abstract

The article examines the representation of disability in Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns and Leila Aboulela’s Lyrics Alley with a view to illustrating the intersections of disability and masculinity in the lives of the two young protagonists, Tariq and Nur. A careful examination of the representation of disabled experience in both Sudan and Afghanistan shows that vulnerability and sexual potency are the two most crucial elements that put masculinity to the test. While Hosseini masculinizes disability by allowing his protagonist to function entirely normally, he fails to offer a thorough realistic representation of the complications of disabled experience. Aboulela on the other hand narrates Nur’s story from his own point of view, which provides a more realistic representation of the complications of total disability for men in the global South. Overall, the article shows that both Hosseini and Aboulela provide empowering and positive representations of disability that might be seen as a metaphor for the possibility of postcolonial nations to rise up and show their true potential, regardless of the disabling aspects of politics, economy, race, and religion.

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Author details

Abbady, Amel