City Stories from the Middle East
Book type: Short Story Collection
Published: 27 Oct 2008
Madinah' - the Arabic word for 'city' -may conjure labyrinthine streets and the hustle and bustle of the souq in Westerners' minds, but for the inhabitants of the Middle East, it is a much more mercurial thing and one that's changing today faster than ever.
Here - in ten urban stories set across the region – the city reveals itself through a vibrant array of characters: from the celebrated author collecting an award in the city that exiled him decades before. to the forlorn lover waiting at a rendezvous as government officials raid nearby shops, confiscating ‘wanton’ Valentine's Day roses.
Whilst engineers race to complete another 'world's tallest building' in Dubai, and American helicopters patrol the Martyrs Bridge in Baghdad, we realise it is the people, and not the landmarks, that define these places: like the language student in Beirut who tries to make a joke of being 'war-broken' to her friends, or the lsraeli general who invites guests to his office to watch promo videos for the tank that will 'win the next war' whilst eating biscuits and reciting poetry.
For all we think we know of the conflict and exoticism of the region. nothing opens more doors to what we don't than its writing. Here, ten short stories by new and established writers have been selected and translated into English for the first time, to open just such a door ...
Translated by Aron Aji, Anthony Calderbank, Alice Guthrie, R. Neil Hewison, William Maynard Hutchins, Nancy Rogers and Jonathan Wright.
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