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In Ways of Seeking, Emily Drumsta traces the influence of detective fiction on the twentieth-century Arabic novel. Theorizing a “poetics of investigation,” she shows how these novels, far from staging awe-inspiring feats of logical deduction, mock the truth-seeking practices on which modern exercises of colonial and national power are often premised. Their narratives return to the archives of Arabic folklore, Islamic piety, and mysticism to explore less coercive ways of knowing, seeing, and seeking. Drumsta argues that scholars of the Middle East neglect the literary at their peril, overlooking key critiques of colonialism from the intellectuals who shaped and responded through fiction to the transformations of modernity. This book ultimately tells a different story about the novel’s place in the constellation of Arab modernism, modeling an innovative method of open-ended inquiry based on the literary texts themselves.