Under the Naked Sky: Short Stories from the Arab World
. American University in Cairo Press, $22.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-977-424-604-3
Denys Johnson-Davies has translated and collected pieces by 30 authors from nine countries in Under the Naked Sky: Short Stories from the Arab World. Short they are many come in at under three pages but even in such swift strokes, they effectively and elegantly portray lives seldom glimpsed by American readers. Ysuf Idris's ""It's Not Fair"" amusingly recounts the travails of a hashish-smoking doctor on night shift; seven sisters vanquish their various oppressors (cancer, vanity, men) during a dreamlike bus journey in Inaam Kachachi's ""Women in Fear""; and Said al-Kafrwi's ""A Boat on the Water"" captures the existential terror of a fugitive.
Reviewed on: 04/01/2001