The hostage by Zayd Mutee Dammaj

IMG_7436Set in Taiz, Yemen. Reviewed on 2018/12:

First I want to use this post to publicly express my love for @interlinkbooks . There are a few good US publishers out there aiming to have a diverse catalog with international books/writers. However once you see their options, they have 3 French, 2 Italians and maybe a Japanese or Argentinian writer and that’s it. I’m here to tell you that #interlinkbooks is above all the others because of mainly two things. Here in the US, you can’t possibly read the #middleeastand #centralasia without their books. Their editions are mastered translations, full with introductions, explanations, maps, etc. which really helps the reader to understand the context, culture and history at hand. Not only they publish books from a region which we desperately need to read from, the stories themselves are spectacular and challenging on their own. This isn’t your superficial miss universe/unesco kind of traditional custom rehearsal. I can’t think of a better example of their brilliant work than the book at hand. #thehostage by #zaydmuteedammaj talks about #yemenbut only to a certain degree and begrudgingly. A lot of people arrive to this book because #muteedammaj is #yemeni . A lot of people arrive here because The Hostage does talk about a series of major #historical events in Yemen. However once you’ve read it, you realize that the story (dare I say the writer?) does not want to be read that way at all. It fights the reader. It refuses definition. Although it does not know what it is, it knows when you try to box it somewhere. And that, les enfants, is how you write a timeless and deep story which simultaneously plays with the specifics but also manages to touch everyone. I’d like to think that that’s precisely what makes Interlink such a terrific publisher by going beyond just the fact of reading a writer or story from another country. They are experts on THE literature. #highlyrecommended#yemeniliterature #aden #eunuch #taiz#interlink #زيد_مطيع_دماج #alrahinah #تعز#slaves #emergingvoices

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