Mama Hissa's Mice

Author(s): Saud Alsanousi
CD - unabridged
Audio (9 discs)
Product Number: BN14513
Released: Oct 15, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781721386260
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
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Growing up together in the Surra section of central Kuwait, Katkout, Fahd, and Sadiq share neither ethnic origin nor religious denomination-only friendship and a rage against the unconscionable sectarian divide turning their lives into war-zone rubble. To lay bare the ugly truths, they form the protest group Fuada's Kids. Their righteous transgressions have made them targets of both Sunni and Shi'a extremists. They've also elicited the concern of Fahd's grandmother, Mama Hissa, a story-spinning font of piety, wisdom, superstition, and dire warnings, who cautions them that should they anger God, the sky will surely fall. Then one day, after an attack on his neighborhood leaves him injured, Katkout regains consciousness. His friends are nowhere to be found. Inundated with memories of his past, Katkout begins a search for them in a world that has become unrecognizable but not forsaken. Snaking through decades of Kuwaiti history well into a cataclysmic twenty-first century, Mama Hissa's Mice is a harrowing, emotional, and caustic novel of rebellion. It also speaks to the universal struggle of finding one's identity and a reason to go on, even after the sky has fallen.

Professional reviews

"Fajar Al-Kaisi gives a solid, if at times unmodulated, narration of a timely coming-of-age novel set in Kuwait. Living with the legacy of the Iraqi invasion, Kuwait is being torn apart by sectarian violence among Shias and Sunnis. Three boys of different ethnicities who have been friends from childhood to manhood establish their own gang, Fuada's Kids, to help them navigate the treacherous streets of their city. Al-Kaisi gives the titular character, Mama Hissa, a lively voice, matching her larger-than-life personality. The action of the novel jumps around in time, a structure that could be confusing for the listener, but Al-Kaisi admirably captures both the exuberant tone of the boy as well as the wistful note of the man. A rich listening experience. D.G.P. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine"