Juxtaposing the Fe/male Divine: The Genderqueer Space of Spirituality in Paulo Coelho’s The Witch of Portobello


  • Gem Cherian Assistant Professor, Department of English, St. Aloysius College, Edathua, Kerala, India


Genderqueer is a non-binary category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine and feminine. Gender identity is a social construct and is distinguished from sexual orientation. Genderqueer has been used as a term to denote people who transgress the established gender binaries of masculine or feminine in their biological traits or physical appearances. Since they queer the idea of gender, they are aptly termed Genderqueer. The New Age spiritual idea of finding the feminine side in man and unravelling the masculine energy of the woman has found ample use in the novels of the Brazilian bestselling writer Paulo Coelho. The novel The Witch of Portobello (2006) juxtaposes the female and male facets of God and the spiritual paradigm of androgyny is skilfully exploited in the novel. This paper is an attempt to read the genderqueer spaces of the divine in the works of Paulo Coelho.


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