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They Die Strangers (Modern Middle Eastern Literatures in Translation Series) [Paperback]

Mohammad Abdul-Wali , Muhammad 'Abd Al-Wali , Abubaker Bagader

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Book Description

1 Jan 2002 Modern Middle Eastern Literatures in Translation Series
A novella and thirteen short stories by this distinguished Yemeni writer, dealing with the common experiences of Yemenis like himself who are caught between cultures by the displacements of civil war or labor migration.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encapsulating and Real 11 Nov 2003
By Lina Fairchild - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book's eponymous novella and 13 short stories offer a passionate and ultimately autobiographical evocation of the life lived by many Yemenis as economic exiles abroad or in harsh conditions at home. The author, born in Ethiopia in 1940 to an Ethiopian mother and Yemeni shopkeeper father, was sent to study in Aden at age 14. He died in a plane crash in 1973. His vividly drawn characters grapple with issues arising from cultural displacement, poverty and fear of the unknown in a period of great political and social change in Yemen, yet the book has a wider and continuing resonance. In the novella, a nurse in Addis Ababa asks an Italian doctor shocked at the condition of his mortally ill Yemeni patient, "What else can these people do ... [but] leave their homes, country, family, to chase after a living?" Abdul-Wali's translators do a fine job captur-ing his realistic, efficiently phrased style in this first English publication of his work. APC
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting 25 April 2012
By Olga - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Seven years after I plucked this slim book off my university library's dusty shelf, the stories still haunt me. The words are beautiful and eloquent without being contorting, the stories - compelling and personal. I was thirteen when I left my birth country, my parents in their fifties. This book paints both experiences and shows that ripples continue to move through one's life after such a big change. Reading this book is a worthy experience to have.

"Look, my little one. Here, all over this graveyard, strangers sleep forever. This land did not give birth to them, did not rear them, but it killed them. They cheated their own land, so they forfeited their right to be buried in it. Blessed is the man who's buried in his own soil, in his homeland." (p. 65)
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