An Excerpt from Bothayna al-Essa’s ‘Maps of Wandering’

Arabic Literature (in English)

Following yesterday’s interview with best-selling Kuwaiti author Bothayna al-Essa, an excerpt from her best-selling Maps of Wandering, which — as she discussed last year — had suffered a ban in Kuwait for violating the “preservation of public morals”:

By Sawad Hussain

The Maps of Wandering opens with the ordeal of a couple on Haj that loses their child in a flood of pilgrims. The ensuing chapters chronicle their son Mashari’s wanderings as he is confronted by “forgotten” worlds and stories of human negligence taking place across the region. The reader hears the voices not only of those who have been marginalized in the holy city, but in surrounding countries as well: those of unknown parentage living in camps; poverty-stricken individuals who traversed the Sahara in search of a better life; and children who have been trafficked or molested, among others. Underpinning the novel is the question of what pushes…

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