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Fate of a Prisoner,The
Denys Johnson-Davies

5 x 7 • 222 pages
ISBN 9780704381186 • paperback • $13.95

The themes in this unusual collection of short stories range from the lost innocence of childhood, betrayal, greed and the battlefield of sex, to the courage of old age. The settings include desert wadis in the Arabian Gulf, a small Sudanese village, the packed streets of Cairo, and a sniper’s alley in Beirut. "Deal Concluded," the tale of an arms sale with more to it than the salesman suspects, shows a sardonic sense of humor. The same humor is present in the volume’s title story, in which the ruler of a Gulf sheikhdom and his English commandant of police engage in an elaborate dance of deadly etiquette over the fate of a young murderer. The writing is fluid and compelling.

Denys Johnson-Davies was born in Canada, and spent his childhood in Egypt, Sudan, and East Africa. He is known as the pioneer translator of modern Arabic literature, and the author or children’s books with Arab backgrounds. Other publications include The Island of Animals, and the translation of Al-Ghazali’s Matters Relating to Eating. He is co-translator of three volumes of the Prophet Muhammad’s Sayings.

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