The World Through the Eyes of Angels / Mahmud Sa'id

Mahmud Sa'id, 204 עמודים
95 ₪
15/10/2013

A prolific writer with nearly thirty novels and short-story collections to his credit, arrested and imprisoned in his native Iraq more than once because of those works, and now living in exile in Chicago, Mahmoud Saeed has produced a plangent and tender tribute to the Mosul he knew in the 1940s and ’50s. The author’s preface narrates the book’s origin: Saeed, saddened by the present violence and destruction in his homeland, observes in happy and peaceful Tijuana a young boy running barefoot on an errand. The sight reminds him of his own poverty-stricken childhood in a city where adherents of the three monotheistic faiths lived harmoniously together, and awakens the desire to write a book that would “serve as a living witness to a people [now] fated to walk in bitter darkness.”     

The World Through the Eyes of Angels triumphantly succeeds in recapturing lost time. In a dozen interlinked short stories, sometimes incorporating meditations upon memory and the past, a sensitive and intelligent boy lives through childhood and adolescence. Although Saeed insists upon the harshness of his young alter ego’s life—he is obliged to run errands in Mosul’s searing heat and subjected to physical abuse at the hands of his elder brother—the stories’ tone, if anguished at unpredictable loss and untimely death, is still gentle, brooding, nostalgic.

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