Mirrors and photographs in Nina Bouraoui’s novel "Tomboy" become two of the primary objects through which this transnational author accentuates the fact that her similarly bi-cultural protagonist Nina continually feels like a foreigner in both her French and Algerian cultures. When she sees herself reflected against and in the gaze of another person, in an actual mirror, or in a photograph, Nina becomes fixated on the judgments from others and also from herself. Being different allows people from both of her societies to judge her without knowing her. In her unhappiness, she focuses on how her differences cause her to be negatively perceived through these flattening reflective surfaces. This paper explores her negotiation with those reflections and movement into and beyond the bounds of the frame.



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