An unexpectedly brilliant collection of short fiction from Mazen Maarof, a fresh voice in the vein of Roald Dahl, Etgar Keret and Amy Hempel. Translated by Jonathan Wright.

Comedians slay. Jokes kill. You could die laughing. These are stories of what the world looks like from a child’s pure, but sometimes vengeful, 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 voyeuristic dwarfs. This is a collection of unforgettable stories about sex, death - and the all-important survival skill of the joke.

The Man Booker International Prize 2019
Published by
Portobello Books
Publication date
Mazen Maarouf

Mazen Maarouf

About the Author

Mazen Maarouf was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in January 1978.
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Jonathan Wright

About the Translator

Jonathan Wright was born in Hampshire, England, in December 1953.
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Other nominated books by Jonathan Wright

Frankenstein in Baghdad