Synopses & Reviews
A prominent practitioner of the Arabic "very short story" (al-qisa al-qasira jiddan), Osama Alomar's poetic fictions embody the wisdom of Kahlil Gibran filtered through the violent gray absurdity of Assad's police state. is the first publication of Alomar's strange, often humorously satirical allegories, where good and evil battle with indifference, avarice, and compassion using striking imagery and effervescent language.
"In Alomar's stories [...] fantasy never devolves into mere whimsy. His magical imaginative creations are, every one, inspired by his deeply felt philosophical, moral, and political convictions, giving these tales a heartfelt urgency" Lydia Davis
"The stories' distinctive flavour comes from Alomar's masterful shifts of character perspective within extremely tight parameters [...] The book is full of these moments which trip you up, swing bluntly from one psyche to another, rapidly decelerate time and play with scale, all of it exposing the delicate balance of our presumptions and allegiances; the small dictatorships that we foster second by second." The New Yorker
"[His stories] convey a raw combination of beauty and resignation, as if the two were created to reside under the same roof, hope and hurt at one [...] Alomar is a man of small but universally affecting insights." Emma Jacobs Asymptote Blog
A New Directions Poetry Pamphlet by one of the most well-respected Arabic poets writing today, with an introduction by Lydia Davis
About the Author
Osama Alomar was born in Damascus, Syria in 1968 and now lives in Chicago. A poet, short-story writer, and musician, Alomar is the author of three collections of short stories and a volume of poetry. He is a regular contributor to various newspapers and journals within the Arab world.C. J. Collins is a librarian and a translator based in Queens, NY.Lydia Davis is currently a finalist for the 2013 Man Booker International Prize.