Tiny Heists

Tiny Heists

Publishing House: Dar El-Shorouk

Publication Year: 2011

Genre: Short Stories

Number of Pages: 112

The student Taleb Al-Rifai continues his narrative journey characterized by boldness and addressing the unspoken through his short story collection “Tiny Heists,” published by Dar Al-Shorouk, in line with his belief in his role as a writer in addressing social issues in his country.

The collection “Tiny Heists” consists of 16 stories all revolving around the consumer society in the Gulf, and the loneliness experienced by the elderly despite their children’s presence around them.

Al-Rifai’s narrative in the “Tiny Heists” collection is characterized by conciseness, intensification, directness, and extreme objectivity in presentation.

The local environment of the Gulf society is vividly depicted through the short dialogue and local vocabulary used in the work.

There is a significant coherence among the stories in the collection as well as with Al-Rifai’s other works such as “Dark Grey,” “Sandy Tales,” “The Chair,” “Dr. Nazil,” “Sun,” “Close My Soul to You,” and “Abu Ajaj May You Live Long.”

These stories were written between 1988 and 2008.

The central focus of the collection lies on the human relationships within the same family, reflecting the nature of Gulf society with its mixed roles and material dominance in some social strata.

Exploring Social Dynamics and Narrative Nuances in Al-Rifai’s ‘Tiny Heists’

Al-Rifai discusses social stratification in the Gulf society in “Tiny Heists,” affirming that like other societies, it consists of several social strata varying in material and cultural levels.

Through the collection, Al-Rifai provides indicators that unacceptable practices are individualistic, as members of the same family differ in character and ideologies.

The collection comprises 16 stories spread over 112 pages, with titles such as “Smiles,” “Frame,” “Above,” “Little Salem,” “Wall,” “Choking Room,” “Royal Suite,” “Tiny Heists,” “Balloons,” “Fly,” “Ring,” “Lemon Perfume,” “General Manager,” “Throwing Words,” “Curtains,” and “Dog.”

Al-Rifai blends reality with fantasy in the collection, using simple language devoid of complexity. Some of his works have been translated into several languages including English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Turkish, and Hindi.

A careful reader of “Tiny Heists” will be amazed by the narrative details of contradictions stemming from Al-Rifai’s deep understanding of the local society. They will also find themselves searching for the Tiny Heists that rob life of its joy, realizing that everyone has some small, light thefts.

Read More About Taleb Alrefai

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