Qatari Voices edited by Carol Henderson and Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

Book set in Qatar. Reviewed on 2020/10:

I’m mostly disappointed at the editors here. In any collection, stories or essays in the case of this #anthology are difficult to judge collectively. However, the editors fail to give the essays some sort of grouping or categories which would have allowed 1) to see overlaps or different opinions about the same topic; and 2) easier for the reader to navigate. Instead, you have here a list of young writers writing unrestrained, which sounds promising, but with a messy and repetitive result. Some of the #essays talk about a #qatar of ancient traditions, family/community-centered towns and tribes. Given the hyper-modern reality of the country today, these essays about its past were in my opinion the most interesting ones. However, there is also a massive romanticization of that same past which after the 5th or 6th essay talking about the same thing, it just becomes patronizing. This is when the editors should have pushed for fiction stories instead of essays. Inventing a story, imagining a new scenario or just being unfaithful to the facts we all memorized in school allow us to see our own “reality” in a different way. The writers in these essays are thirsty for that. The editors clearly missed an opportunity here to show the power of literature to question everything. #qatariliterature#doha#carolhenderson#mohanalakshmirajakumar#qatarivoices#qatari#bloomsbury#qatarfoundation#newwriters#qatarisociety#essayform#nonfiction#writingworkshop#gulfliterature

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