The Influence of Absent/Present Mothers on Daughters in Fadia Faqir’s My Name Is Salma and Willow Trees Don’t Weep

Amal Adnan Al-Khayyat


This study demonstrates the influence of absent/present mothers on their daughters in Jordanian-British Fadia Faqir’s novels My Name Is Salma (2007) and Willow Trees Don’t Weep (2014). It manifests the difference between the positive and negative impacts of the mothers of Salma and Najwa, the two heroines in the two novels under discussion, respectively. The study also exposes the difference between Salma and Najwa based on their fragmentation and its intricate interconnection with their mothers, the way they deal with their mothers’ belongings, and the effect of the memories of their mothers on their self-formation. As it does so, the study highlights how each one of these heroines utilizes her mother’s influence on her to achieve self-formation in her own way as she crosses borders. Through its focus on the mother-daughter bond in both novels, the study concludes that despite the mother’s physical absence, her evident presence turns out to be inescapable; the positive influence of Salma’s absent mother helps Salma recollect herself, and the negative influence of Najwa’s absent mother helps Najwa shape her new identity.


Absent/Present, Borders, Fragmentation, Inescapable, Influence, Mother, Self-formation

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