Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Captivity"

The Release of Mr. K

1 One fine day, Kosef J found himself released from prison. It all started with the rattling of the chains that secured the two locks on the elevator. Then the doors at the very end of the corridor were flung open. Lastly, there was some swearing followed by the creaking of the breakfast trolley. But only when the two elderly prison guards walked past Kosef J’s cell without even breaking stride did he realize that something unusual was about to happen.  In the first few...

Sage on the Mountain

In “Sage on the Mountain,” Vietnamese writer Đỗ Bích Thúy reveals the little-seen world of a Tay ethnic minority village in the northern province of Ha Giang near the Chinese border.  The protagonist, Dzin, has returned to visit her aged mother, a war widow who feels caught between the old ways and the new.  Ma and my nephew, Sinh, met me at the fork where the trail turned up the slope that led to the house on stilts. It perched...

Bret Easton Ellis and Other Dogs

After a week or two there was no avoiding the fact that Paco Parra wanted Muriel all to himself. That was why he recommended a different beach to me, a beach that lay a bit further away; all you had to do was take the bus to the next village. Muriel shrugged her shoulders and said it was only for a few days, then he had to go off on a job and we would be alone again. So each day after breakfast I took the bus for about a kilometer. I had books and magazines with me and there was a bar right...

No Euskera

Bilbao rose to meet them, swathed in stagnant drizzle. At the door to the train station, the old woman opened her umbrella and stepped outside, with the girl walking snug against her body. The damp fog blurred the outlines of the city. Objects appeared menacingly distant, and the people seemed to be walking an inch off the ground. The old woman tied her black kerchief under her chin without dropping the basket hung over her arm. She was dressed in an old village woman’s prim mourning...

Saad

Saad bursts into the bedroom, where David is resting after lunch, and declares: “They’re coming! Quick, Monsieur David, let’s go see them!” The whole town seems to race toward Ambado. A cloud of dust rises into view in the distant haze between Tadjoura and the palm grove. David and Saad, on their mules, are the first to reach them. Hemmed in by around twenty armed horsemen, they’ve been marching like this for months. A thousand people of all ages, from the...

The “Arab Spring,” Five Years On

One of the most iconic chants invoked across the Arab region during the 2011 uprisings—“The people want to topple the regime”—has been said to echo a verse by Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shabbi: “If, one day, the people want to live, then fate will answer their call.” For many, the immediacy and performativity of revolutionary poetry seemed woven into the fabric of the 2011 uprisings from the beginning. Poetry was sung in one of the most iconic videos...

Womb

My name is Nagari. Thirty years of age. There is no need to explain; I understand. . . . That evening, after my bath, my hair still wet, I heard a pounding on the door of my rented room. Three men had come to pick me up. From the sight of the jeep waiting out front; from the low hum of its engine, as light as the evening air; and from their voices,  polite but firm, I knew what was happening. The three men took me to a cold building with slippery  floors. A long corridor...

Encounter

I have a feeling that it is a mistake to go to the party at Mr. M.'s, especially under the circumstances. Things have tightened up once more. Again scarves have to be pulled down all the way to the eyebrows and legs covered in thick, black stockings. Again the loose-fitting, ankle-length smocks have to be worn. They are once again slashing women's bare legs with razors and shaving the heads of young boys or publicly flogging them in city squares. And yet no one is really scared or...

The Veiler of All Deeds

NOTE: Born in 1968, Hamdy Abu Golayyel is of Bedouin origin and lives in Cairo. In keeping with a growing trend in Egyptian fiction, Thieves in Retirement-the novel from which this excerpt is taken-is set in a crowded Cairo apartment building, the various inhabitants of which offer a cross-section of Egyptian society, while highlighting a modern sense of displacement and urban alienation. Thieves in Retirement will be published by Syracuse University Press in 2006. People are...

I Look Around Me

With the alertness of a creature expecting its demise I usually look around me. Perhaps that is why my neck has a strength that does not match my body, and what is surprising is that I do not foresee live bullets from empty side streets or scissors- as a silent way of killing- but flashing glances from eyes I barely glimpse but that can do what must be done.

Nothing?

Where I used to dwell in my autumn, with my rags and I say dwelled because I felt alive inside there as never before. Where I used to inhabit tremulous, subtle and I was recognized by my sinews and my veins and by the air that traveled in and out your lungs. There, down in your bloodstream and within your thoughts that host now another guest, is there not left a remnant of sorrow? not even some ashes? written in jail in Cuba in the summer of 2003

I Don’t Want Anyone Coming around to Save Me

I don't want anyone coming around to save me So, whoever is sending me those nice thoughts, those smug little messages, --take it elsewhere. Cut off the oxygen now. I don't want to suffer the agony of the mask. And that black paint from the stone path is not going to hide my fatigue nor my headstrong, parsimonious way of putting up with it. The gauze, the tight gauze, saves just the burns on the surface of my skin So there is nothing to do about the...

On Tyranny

The one that's out there in the street, out there in the country, the rough and vehement tyranny, that governs my life as a citizen that one will pass because it punishes my body, but does not have neither the agent nor the means to touch my spirit. But, listen to me well, Bertha, from your scent from your scent that presides over my memory from your last kisses from certain conversations that are now only echoes from that high security imposed by my own private...
Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.