Out on 28 May 2020

Alligator and Other Stories

Dima Alzayat

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28 May 2020
9781529029925
0 pages
Synopsis

'This wonderful collection that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt caught between cultures, places . . . ' Sharlene Teo

In Alligator and Other Stories, Dima Alzayat captures luminously how it feels to be ‘other’: as a Syrian, as an Arab, as an immigrant, as a woman. Each story of the nine stories is a snapshot of those moments when unusual circumstances suddenly distinguish us from our neighbours, when our difference is thrown into relief.

Here are ‘dangerous’ women transgressing, missing children in 1970s New York, a family who were once Syrian but have now lost their name, and a young woman about to discover the hollowness of the American dream. At its centre lies ‘Alligator’: a remarkable compilation of real and invented sources, which rescues from history the story of a Syrian American couple who were murdered at the hands of the state.

Alzayat explores experiences that are startling and real, delivering an emotional punch that lingers long after reading.

Tremendously assured, wise-cracking and elegiac, with a firm pulse on the magical and mundane. I loved it’s hard-edged lyricism and the tremendous empathetic range and distinctiveness of vision that Dima Alzayat demonstrates in this wonderful collection that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt caught between cultures, places and the interstices of memory and the loaded everyday.

Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti

Alligator and Other Stories is heartfelt, heartbreaking and heart-mending. It's also razor sharp on the shifting layers of history, family, faith, gender, culture and language that make up that strange thing we call 'identity'. An important, necessary book.

Jenn Ashworth

Dima Alzayat's stories are nuanced, unusual and emotionally lacerating. Hers is a voice that is both vital and haunting.

Stuart Evers