This article compares two novels, Nina Bouraoui’s Garçon Manqué (2000) and Rabih Alameddine’s I, the Divine (2001), in which both female protagonists question their respective belonging to Algeria/France and to Lebanon/the United States. I will examine how both women attempt to claim and reappropriate their bodies—bodies that are considered illegitimate because they are the result of mixed marriages, which imposes on them a double rejection, forcing the protagonists to drift between the countries that lay claim to their identities. The article aims at firstly focusing on the violence their bodies have to suffer through the hybridity infecting them. Then, it examines the way both women struggle to legitimize their bodies by performing male bodies which they admire, desire, and criticize at the same time. This ultimately impels them to start writing, thus creating a space in which their existence is possible.

KEYWORDS: exile, hybridity, body, writing, memory, identity