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They Die Strangers (CMES Modern Middle East Literatures in Translation) Paperback – January 15, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: CMES Modern Middle East Literatures in Translation
  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, The University of Texas at Austin (January 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292705085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292705081
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,950,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lina Fairchild on November 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Olga on April 24, 2012
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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