Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Hikayat: A collection of Lebanese Short Stories

A part of the Contemporary Fiction paper is to explore a new area of fiction, and I chose Lebanese Writing. The only collection I had easy access to was this book- Hikayat. It is a collection of short stories by Lebanese women- the first generation writers and the second generation writers. 

The book has a comprehensive introduction highlighting the literary history of the Middle-east, Lebanon  in particular. The stories explore relationships, war, refugee status, love and the breaking up of families. 

The stories are poignant and have a distinct flavour. While the first generation women writers talk about domestic problems, religion, rules and war, the younger generation- with writers like Rima Alamuddin, Zeina Ghandour and Hala Alyan talk of a different Lebanon. The stories are imaginative and describe independent women; women who love art, women who are living by themselves. They assert their identity and occupy the entire narrative space. And have such imaginative titles to the stories. 

Some of the stories I really liked were:

A Spaceship to the Moon- (Can't remember author's name)

A Pomegranate Notebook- (can't remember author's name)

The Cellist- Rima Alamuddin

Painted Reflections - Hala Alyan

Omega: Definition- Zeina Ghandour

If you like Middle-east or Iranian movies, or Palestinian movies you would definitely want to try this book. 

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