Adi's Journal

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Zakaria Tamer: Satirical and sharp storyteller from Syria – #BlogchatterA2Z

textgram_1525065988Today, we are at the last stop of our A to Z journey of this 2018 challenge. I would like to introduce you all to Zakaria Tamer, who is a Syrian short story writer.  Tamer, born on 2nd January 1931, is one of the most important and widely read and translated short story writer from Arab literary world.  Tamer, also known as ‘little pea Ziad’ has been writing short stories since late 50’s and since then he has published eleven short story collections, two collections of satirical articles and several children’s books. Tamer is considered as an influential master of the Arabic-language short story. Tamer continued to teach himself with a voracious reading as he had to quit the school to support the family at the age of thirteen. He became interested in politics and was encouraged by contact with intellectuals to continue his education at night school. With this background, representing the very poor majority of men and women in Syria, with their joyless and restricted existence in his writing became his literary intention.


Photo from Goodreads

The common theme of Zakaria’s stories is ruler’s intuitive mastery over the use of “carrot and stick” to tame the strongest of his/her subjects. Muhammad al-Maghut, a well-known Arab critic, once contrasted him with Charles Darwin: one showing how humans developed from monkeys, the other showing how humans could be manipulated into becoming monkeys. It is said that his volumes of short stories, are often reminiscent of folktales, and are renowned for their relative simplicity on the one hand and the complexity of their many potential references on the other. They often have a sharp edge and are often a surrealistic protest against political or social oppression and exploitation. Most of Zakaria Tamer’s stories deal with people’s inhumanity to each other, the oppression of the poor by the rich and of the weak by the strong.


516yhpnYc-L.jpgThe book I would like to read and include in this TBR list is one of the two collections which got translated into English. Breaking Knees: Sixty-three Very Short Stories from Syria. As the title suggests, this book as sixty-three very short stories like flash fiction, which comment about corrupt, fearful lives under a violent dictatorship, it is possible to discern echoes of the storm that has brought Syria to near-disintegration. The stories in the book are Wry, satirical and bawdy, and are always informed by his dark view of humanity and of Syrian society in particular. Considering the current situation Syria, this book seems to be the amazing chance to have a sneak peek in Syrian society.


You can find the copy of these books on following links.


Paperback: 178 pages
Publisher: Garnet Publishing Ltd (1 June 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1859642039
ISBN-13: 978-1859642030

Amazon Kindle

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 523 KB
Print Length: 205 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1902932455
Publisher: Periscope (8 February 2016)

Adding this to the amazing bucket of blogs at #BlogchatterA2Z.


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