Mama Hissa’s Mice

Publishing House: Amazon Crossing

Publication Year: 2019

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 399

“Mama Hissa’s Mice,” penned by Saud Alsanousi, the lauded recipient of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction , emerges as a searing and darkly humorous narrative that delves into the potency of friendship amidst the chaos of a war-afflicted landscape. The novel has been commended for its rich and resonant storytelling by NPR, earning it significant acclaim.

Set in the Surra area of central Kuwait, the story revolves around Katkout, Fahd, and Sadiq . Three friends united not by their ethnic or religious backgrounds . But by their shared disdain for the destructive sectarian divide ravaging their lives. In an act of defiance against the escalating sectarian violence, they establish a protest group named Fuada’s Kids, drawing the ire of extremists from both Sunni and Shi’a factions. Their actions also attract the attention of Fahd’s grandmother, Mama Hissa, a venerable figure known for her storytelling prowess and sagacity, who warns them of divine retribution should they provoke God’s wrath.

The narrative takes a dramatic turn when an assault leaves Katkout injured and disoriented, with his companions missing. As he awakens to a world irrevocably altered yet not entirely devoid of hope .  He embarks on a poignant quest to find his friends . A journey that is as much about rediscovery as it is about survival.

“Mama Hissa’s Mice” is not merely a story of friendship and resistance; it is an expansive exploration of Kuwaiti history, stretching from the nineteenth century into a tumultuous twenty-first century. The novel artfully intertwines the personal and political . Tracing the intergenerational impact of trauma and identity through its richly drawn characters. Alsanousi’s meticulous attention to detail and vivid prose bring to life a narrative that is both heartbreaking and humorous .  Reflecting the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Various critics has  praised the novel  . Including The Washington Post, for its insightful cultural translation and the portrayal of Mama Hissa as a character. Who challenges readers with her complex narratives. The New York Journal of Books commends the novel for its blend of sarcasm and tragic realism . Suggesting its potential as an educational tool in classrooms to shed light on the factors . Leading to the current state of the Middle East and Persian Gulf States.

“Mama Hissa’s Mice” is celebrated as a deeply emotional novel by Authorlink, and its translation by Sawad Hussain has been lauded by NPR for effectively capturing the book’s emotional, political, and aesthetic essence. The novel’s exploration of storytelling’s power in shaping reality and our ability to alter these narratives has resonated with Western audiences, offering both a window into and a mirror of their experiences. It stands as a testament to Alsanousi’s skill as a storyteller . Weaving a narrative that is as timely as it is timeless.

Read More About Saud Alsanousi

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