Wolves of the Crescent Moon
By Yousef Al-Mohaimeed
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143113218, 192pp.)
Publication Date: December 18, 2007
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Banned in Saudi Arabia, this provocative, fast-paced debut novel confirms what The Washington Post reported about its award-winning author: "Yousef Al- Mohaimeed is taking on some of the most divisive subjects in the Arab world . . . in a lush style that evokes Gabriel García Márquez."
In a Riyadh bus station, a man comes across a file containing official reports about an abandoned baby. As he pieces together the shattered life documented within, a larger picture emerges of three outsiders-a Bedouin, an orphan, and a eunuch-linked by fate and trying to make lives for themselves in a predatory city.
Unfolding with the intensity of a fever dream over the course of one night, Wolves of the Crescent Moon is a novel of astonishing power and great moral consequence about a deeply traditional society confronting the modern world.
YOUSEF AL-MOHAIMEED was born in Riyadh in 1964. He has published several novels and short story collections in Arabic and has had stories published in Lebanon, Egypt, France, Germany, Spain, and Russia. He studied English and photography at Norwich University in England and was recently presented with an award by Diwan al Arab magazine and the Egyptian Journalists Union in recognition of his creative contribution to Arab culture. He lives in Riyadh.
1. Wolves of the Crescent Moon is set during a single night. Think back to all of the action that takes place in the present tense, and all that takes place as memory or imagination. How does this affect the pace of the novel? Why do you think the author chose to structure the novel in this way?
"At last an authentic voice from Saudi Arabia."
-Hanan al-Shaykh, author of Women of Sand and Myrrh
"Brave and brilliant . . . A novel that sneaks up on you with its power to make you see, hear, and live the complexities of another world."
-Uzodinma Iweala, author of Beasts of No Nation
"An irresistible novel."
-Nuruddin Farah, author of Links and Knots