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The Well of Trapped Words

Talking snakes and otherworldly grandmothers who require spoon-feeding are the stuff of folktales, and unpredictable honorary aunts and local dignitaries driven to extremes by bureaucracy and modernity are hallmarks of a traditional society not coping well with change. Kaygusuz's short stories open windows into Turkish life, brought together by her amazing dreamlike realism.

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The Good Life Elsewhere

A dark humour runs through this tale of an impoverished Moldavian community seeking the utopia of Italy. Comedic elements creep in which made me smile despite the serious undercurrent of the story. A cast of characters attempt increasingly farcical ways of reaching Italy: the land of promise and opportunity. As soon as one attempt is thwarted, another hare-brained scheme is hatched.

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An Unnecessary Woman

A childless divorcee for over 50 years, living in 21st century Beirut, Aaliya assumes most of her world will find her 'unnecessary'. As she faces old age - her biggest challenge yet - will her dry wit, intelligence and love for literature, art and her indomitable city prove enough to make her feel that she isn't completely useless? A fascinating read.

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Welcome to Braggsville

Unceasing wordplay deftly probes the thorny issues of identity and American racial conflict with perfectly pitched dark satire and morbid comedy. The shockingly bizarre story may be disturbing but the hypersensitive send-up of academia will also amuse. This misbegotten tale, full of irony and stray cultural references, is awesome in its unpredictable linguistic acrobatics.

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