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The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories

by Osama Alomar

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In Alomar's stories, fantasy never devolves into mere whimsy. His magical imaginative creations are, every one, inspired by his deeply felt philosophical, moral, and political convictions, giving these tales a heartfelt urgency.

—Lydia Davis, The New Yorker

Wonderful short stories that sharpen awareness, from a brilliantly gifted Syrian refugee


Available April 25th, 2017

The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories

Fiction by Osama Alomar

translated from the Arabic by Osama Alomar and C. J. Collins

Personified animals (snakes, wolves, sheep), natural things (a swamp, a lake, a rainbow, trees), mankind’s creations (trucks, swords, zeroes) are all characters in The Teeth of the Comb. They aspire, they plot, they hope, they destroy, they fail, they love. These wonderful small stories animate new realities and make us see our reality anew. Reading Alomar’s sly moral fables and sharp political allegories, the reader always sits up a little straighter, and a little wiser. Here is the title story:


Some of the teeth of the comb were envious of the class differences that exist between humans. They strived desperately to increase their height, and, when they succeeded, began to look with disdain on their colleagues below.

After a little while the comb’s owner felt a desire to comb his hair. But when he found the comb in this state he threw it in the garbage.

published April 25th, 2017