The chapters of this book can be read as brief character sketches found on the roadside and picked up by the author. At the heart of each lies a story of loss, pain, fear, ruin, unrealized joys, and love thwarted by dead ends and barriers. The characters are movie extras, third-rate actresses, prostitutes, abnormally tall children, and boys too obese to move. The most engaging thing about the book is the author’s lovely colloquial language, which manages to approach poetry without getting bogged down in easy lyricism.
Fi kull qalb hikaya, by Ahmed al-Fakharani, Dar al-Ain, 150 pp.