NPR

'Mama Hissa's Mice' Creep Through A Dystopian Future Kuwait

Saud Alsanousi's novel follows a group of Kuwaiti kids growing up in the 1980s — then jumps to a near future torn by sectarian violence. It's a resonant book that asks more questions than it answers.
Source: Petra Mayer

In an interview with ArabLit this year, critic Hend Saeed asked Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi about what his Western readers might lose in translation. "Dealing with the Western reader isn't easy if we take into consideration what they don't know about us, by which I mean the Kuwaiti culture in particular," Alsanousi said. He added, "That puts a huge burden and responsibility on me, when I write and present my local culture and heritage."

He's not wrong; I suspect that relatively few American readers of Alsanousi's newest book to be translated into will be familiar with Kuwait's history, diverse population, culture or rising political tensions. Yet translator Sawad Hussain has succeeded in bringing this beautiful, affecting novel to an English-reading audience and has captured clearly the emotional, political and aesthetic concerns preoccupying the book.

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