There's a good variety, with stories relying on plot twists, settings, and characters (who range from taxi drivers and prostitutes to collectors and children) and with variation in mood and style, with stories comic and tragic, straightforward and ambiguous. The style of some of the stories may be unsettling to those unfamiliar with Arabic fiction, but a short anthology like this makes a good introduction to that. And, while some of the stories are more appealing than others, the successes outnumber the failures and are much more memorable.
The stories in The Book of Gaza are genuinely short, with the longest only sixteen pages, but it makes a nice little collection, conveying something of both the hidden depths and the open breadths of one of the world's stranger urban areas.
- External links:
- buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
- buy from Wordery
- details at Comma Press
- share this review on Facebook or Twitter