Author: Mai Al-Nakib
Book takes place in country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO
This was my 16th read of the year. Finished on 2/4/2019.
I have only visited one place in the Middle East, and that is United Arab Emirates. It has always been a place of wonder and fascination for me - especially after 9/11. We are all left with the idea of what the Middle East represents. And then you visit, and realize how wrong you were on so many levels.
This is a collection of short stories. There are stories of war, love, loss. But if you look deeper, you find that the stories are mostly about life in the Middle East. Each story talks of small objects that the people treasured. Memories that are encapsulated in the smallest things that hold deep meaning for the bearer. There is the young girl named Amerika who loves her name until 9/11 happens. There are the families torn apart by loss of a young child, or the wanderings of a father. The stories hold a lot of sadness but also beauty. And they are wonderfully told.
I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I don't really love short storied books- most of the time I just don't get much out of them. You don't develop love for the characters and sometimes you find there are truly only one or two that you enjoy. It was not true for this book. These stories are wonderfully, expertly written. The language is beautiful (although something to get used to) and that made it hard for me to put it down. The stories are all tragic. In the short pages you do develop feelings for the characters because of how well the stories are written.
While it just gives a small glimpse into life in Kuwait, I am glad I chose this one for this country. I saw a different side, told by an author who actually lives there, and it made me feel differently.
Stars: 4 1/2