Jokes for the Gunmen

Mazen Maarouf

Published: 3 January 2019
Trade Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 176 pages
ISBN: 9781846276675
£10.99

Translated by Jonathan Wright.

Overview

LONGLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2019

A brilliant collection of fictions in the vein of Roald Dahl, Etgar Keret and Amy Hempel. These are stories of what the world looks like from a child's pure but sometimes vengeful or muddled perspective. These are stories of life in a war zone, life peppered by surreal mistakes, tragic accidents and painful encounters. These are stories of fantasist matadors, lost limbs and perplexed voyeurs. This is a collection about sex, death and the all-important skill of making life into a joke. These are unexpected stories by a very fresh voice. These stories are unforgettable.


About the author

Image of Mazen Maarouf

MAZEN MAAROUF was born in Beirut in 1978. He is a Palestinian-Icelandic writer, poet, translator and journalist. He has published three poetry collections and two short story collections. He currently lives between Reykjavik and Beirut. More about the author


Reviews

Small, explosive and powerful, [Jokes for the Gunmen] is a bullet of a debut’ Emily Rhodes

Close

Reviews

Translated seamlessly from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright [...] Maarouf gives us much to admire and more to enjoy. His bold and masterful stories laugh in the face of adversity and shine vital rays of light through darkness and despair’ Malcolm Forbes

‘A debut collection that returns over and over again to the subject of humour as its characters try to make sense of life in a Lebanese war zone...the twelve stories offer a surreal look at the impact of war on the civilian population... An unsettling collection that seeks to showcase loss in all its varied formsSarah Gilmartin

‘Full of visionary strangeness... deeply peculiar, occasionally touching and often very funny... Beautifully translated by Jonathan Wright, who renders Maarouf's language in sprightly, elegant prose’ Alex Preston

‘I really loved this book. Each story holds a common space with carefully, floatingly simple, precise and off-balance language. The stories return to the idea of the joke again and again in ways that are at once funny, profoundly sad and mysteriously enriching. Violence visits the characters frequently with its sudden transformations of body and memory, its indifference and its irresistibility, brilliantly captured by the author in all its dense reality, its shattering irreality. This is a book that deepens our sense of who we are to each otherDavid Hayden

‘In this pitch-perfect collection Maarouf skilfully blends the mundane and the bizarre to explore the dark times we live in with grace and lightness of touch. He is a maestro.Fadia Faqir, author

‘Maarouf's stories describe the perverted logic of a society deformed by war. They are funny and horrifying, matter-of-fact and surreal, bleak and magical. They show you things not easily forgotten’ Chris Power

‘Mazen Maarouf's stories are a powerful reminder that it is only through the imagination we can hope to make sense of the brute senselessness of reality’ Sjón

‘Unsettlingly good’





 
Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts