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Alligator and Other Stories

Dima Alzayat

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Picador

9781529029895
224
Synopsis

'Startling, often shocking . . . brilliant.' Daily Mail

'These charged, visceral stories get under the skin and stay there. This collection heralds the arrival of an electrifying new voice.' Irenosen Okojie

In Alligator and Other Stories, Dima Alzayat captures luminously how it feels to be ‘other’: as a Syrian, as an Arab, as an immigrant, as a woman. Each story of the nine stories is a snapshot of those moments when unusual circumstances suddenly distinguish us from our neighbours, when our difference is thrown into relief.

Here are ‘dangerous’ women transgressing, missing children in 1970s New York, a family who were once Syrian but have now lost their name, and a young woman about to discover the hollowness of the American dream. At its centre lies ‘Alligator’: a remarkable compilation of real and invented sources, which rescues from history the story of a Syrian American couple who were murdered at the hands of the state.

Alzayat explores experiences that are startling and real, delivering an emotional punch that lingers long after reading.

In the media
Gloriously hypnotic. These charged, visceral stories get under the skin and stay there. This collection heralds the arrival of an electrifying new voice.

Irenosen Okojie

Tremendously assured, wise-cracking and elegiac . . . [A] wonderful collection that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt caught between cultures, places and the interstices of memory and the loaded everyday.

Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti

Alligator and Other Stories is heartfelt, heartbreaking and heart-mending. It's also razor sharp on the shifting layers of history, family, faith, gender, culture and language that make up that strange thing we call 'identity'. An important, necessary book.

Jenn Ashworth, author of A Kind of Intimacy

This is a wonderful collection, exceptional in fact. Its consideration of displacement and identity is so nuanced, intelligent and tender, and its modes of telling so dextrous, apt and beautiful. In Alligator and other Stories, lives are captured with care and formidable compassion.

Wendy Erskine, author of Sweet Home