Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Hidden Light of Objects by Mai Al-Nakib

Author:  Mai Al-Nakib
Original title: The Hidden Light of Objects
Pages: 311
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Format: Paperback
Genres: contemporary, short story collection

    Short story collection.
The headlines tell of war, unrest and religious clashes. But if you look beyond them you may see life in the Middle East as it is really lived – adolescent love, yearnings for independence, the fragility of marriage, pain of the most quotidian kind. Mai Al-Nakib’s luminous stories carefully unveil the lives of ordinary people in the Middle East – and the power of ordinary objects to hold extraordinary memories.

My thoughts: 
       This is a short story collection and it was difficult to say if I loved it immensely or not.
       Although the stories are seemingly accessible and easy to read, there is an undeniable depth. The stories gave a description of peaceful Kuwaiti life before Hussein invaded and America bombed the country. There were nine stories, but I would not tell which I liked more.
        Before each story is a short vignette which I am still unsure about, some of them seemed to give insight into the story that came after, some seemed completely unconnected and I wondered what they are for. Several of the stories are interlinked either through characters or, fittingly, through objects hinting at yet more stories untold. The stories hold a lot of sadness, but also beauty. And they are wonderfully told:
  The thing is to be as light as air, like a shawl through a rose gold ring. To be present and, at the same time, to wander through the alleys of the past, plucking memories and possibilities like grapes off vines.
I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to read Mai Al-Nakib’s work, thought it was not easy task.


  1. I like some short stories, but for the most part they're not my thing.

    1. I am coming to realization, that I just should not pick up them.