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They Die Strangers [Paperback]

Mohammad Abdul-Wali , Muhammad 'Abd Al-Wali , Abubaker Bagader
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 15 2002 Cmes Modern Middle East Literature in Translation
They Die Strangers, a novella and thirteen short stories, is the first full-length work of the distinguished Yemeni writer Mohammad Abdul-Wali to appear in English. Abdul-Wali died tragically in an aviation accident, and his stories were collected after his death by the translators Abubaker Bagader and Deborah Akers. Abdul-Wali was born in Ethiopia of Arab Yemeni parents. His stories, filled with nostalgia and the bitterness of exile, deal with the common experiences of Yemenis like himself who are caught between cultures by the displacements of civil war or labor migration. His characters include women left behind, children raised without fathers, and men returning home after years of absence. He explores the human condition through the eyes of the oppressed and disenfranchised and is particularly sympathetic to the plight of women. Abdul-Wali writes in a realistic style, sparse and simple, a style that the translators have reproduced well in this volume.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Encapsulating and Real Nov. 11 2003
Format:Paperback
The book's eponymous novella and 13 short stories offer a passionate and ultimately autobiographical evocation of the life lived by many Yemenis as economic exiles abroad or in harsh conditions at home. The author, born in Ethiopia in 1940 to an Ethiopian mother and Yemeni shopkeeper father, was sent to study in Aden at age 14. He died in a plane crash in 1973. His vividly drawn characters grapple with issues arising from cultural displacement, poverty and fear of the unknown in a period of great political and social change in Yemen, yet the book has a wider and continuing resonance. In the novella, a nurse in Addis Ababa asks an Italian doctor shocked at the condition of his mortally ill Yemeni patient, "What else can these people do ... [but] leave their homes, country, family, to chase after a living?" Abdul-Wali's translators do a fine job captur-ing his realistic, efficiently phrased style in this first English publication of his work. APC
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encapsulating and Real Nov. 11 2003
By Lina Fairchild - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book's eponymous novella and 13 short stories offer a passionate and ultimately autobiographical evocation of the life lived by many Yemenis as economic exiles abroad or in harsh conditions at home. The author, born in Ethiopia in 1940 to an Ethiopian mother and Yemeni shopkeeper father, was sent to study in Aden at age 14. He died in a plane crash in 1973. His vividly drawn characters grapple with issues arising from cultural displacement, poverty and fear of the unknown in a period of great political and social change in Yemen, yet the book has a wider and continuing resonance. In the novella, a nurse in Addis Ababa asks an Italian doctor shocked at the condition of his mortally ill Yemeni patient, "What else can these people do ... [but] leave their homes, country, family, to chase after a living?" Abdul-Wali's translators do a fine job captur-ing his realistic, efficiently phrased style in this first English publication of his work. APC
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting April 24 2012
By Olga - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Seven years after I plucked this slim book off my university library's dusty shelf, the stories still haunt me. The words are beautiful and eloquent without being contorting, the stories - compelling and personal. I was thirteen when I left my birth country, my parents in their fifties. This book paints both experiences and shows that ripples continue to move through one's life after such a big change. Reading this book is a worthy experience to have.

"Look, my little one. Here, all over this graveyard, strangers sleep forever. This land did not give birth to them, did not rear them, but it killed them. They cheated their own land, so they forfeited their right to be buried in it. Blessed is the man who's buried in his own soil, in his homeland." (p. 65)
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