Original article can be found here.
[ARABNEWS.com] From a global hunt for a man named Mohammed Ismail, to Cinderella, and a woman who uses her own strength to ensure her fate, the writer’s characters spread themselves around the world.
Translated into English by another prize winner, Sawad Hussain, the subjects of Ujayli’s tales take shape and transform in their incredible thirst for life by living through themes of apartheid, spirituality, life’s contradictions and ironic fates, the curiosity of the young, and the instinct to survive.
Identified as an experimental journey and one that fits no mold, according to Hussain’s translator’s note, there had been difficulties trying to find an editor, despite the collection scooping the 2017 Al-Multaqa award for Arabic short-story collections.
Labeled as “too short” or “not Arab enough,” Hussain said that the collection went beyond what was on the page, inspiring readers to explore what was unsaid and unwritten.
Beginning with the story of Cinderella, whose slipper becomes a weapon of agency rather than a clue that leads to fortune and love, a woman finds strength in her own hands.
But in the second tale, that power is taken away when young children waiting for their Christmas presents are left disappointed when they realize Santa cannot get to them….read more here.