Fullblood Arabian

Poetry by Osama Alomar

Translated by C. J. Collins

With a contribution by Lydia Davis

Osama Alomar, in his poetic fictions, embodies the wisdom of Kahlil Gibran filtered through the violent gray absurdity of Assad’s police state. Fullblood Arabian is the first English publication of Alomar’s strange, often humorously satirical allegories, where good and evil battle with indifference, avarice, and compassion in striking imagery and effervescent language. I read in a book the following piece of wisdom: “He who remains silent in the face of injustice is a mute Satan.…
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Alomar’s work speaks to the power that words can have when they’re constrained, be it by style or by necessity… a master of the form.
—Bradley Babendir, New Republic
Despite their apparent playful wit, Alomar’s deceptively slight short stories have teeth and bite. In spare, accessible prose, one encounters the painful and bitter poetry of exile running like a blood-red thread through this slim but dense collection.
—Yahia Lababidi, World Literature Today
Alomar’s sly moral fables and sharp political allegories are shrewd and full of intelligence.
—Rabeea Saleem, Chicago Review of Books
In the Arab world, the Syrian writer Osama Alomar has a growing reputation as the author of short, clever parables that comment obliquely on political and social issues. But here in Chicago, where he has lived in exile since 2008, he spends most of his time as the driver of Car 45 at the Horizon Taxi Cab company.
—Larry Rohter, The New York Times
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
[His stories] convey a raw combination of beauty and resignation, as if the two were created to reside under the same roof, hope and hurt at one …. Alomar is a man of small but universally affecting insights.
The American
The stories’ distinctive flavour comes from Alomar’s masterful shifts of character perspective within extremely tight parameters.…The book is full of these moments which trip you up, swing bluntly from one psyche to another, rapidly decelerate time and play with scale, all of it exposing the delicate balance of our presumptions and allegiances; the small dictatorships that we foster second by second.
—Emma Jacobs, Asymptote Blog
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
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