Alomar’s stories are alternatively hilarious, portentous and utterly poetic.

The Brooklyn Rail

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

The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories

Fiction by Osama Alomar

Translated from the Arabic by Osama Alomar C. J. Collins

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.

From Osama Alomar, a brilliant Syrian writer living in exile in Pittsburgh, come these wonderful stories populated by personified swords and snakes and swamps, wolves and zeroes and rainbows. In The Teeth of the Comb they aspire, they plot, they hope, they destroy, they fail. But they always animate new realities—and make us see our realities anew. Reading Alomar’s sly moral fables and sharp political allegories, we sit up a little straighter and a little wiser.

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published April 25, 2017)

ISBN
9780811226073
Price US
13.95
Price CN
18.95
Trim Size
5 x 8
Page Count
96

Ebook (published April 25, 2017)

ISBN
9780811225830

Osama Alomar

Syrian-American poet and short story writer

Alomar’s stories are alternatively hilarious, portentous and utterly poetic.

The Brooklyn Rail

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

There are no wasted words in Alomar’s beautiful collection of very short fictions. Philosophical and subversive, these tiny parables deconstruct human failings with a keen insight.

Publisher’s Weekly

Alomar’s sly moral fables and sharp political allegories are shrewd and full of intelligence.

Chicago Review of Books

Swamps and streams, lightning and dogs all play a part in these beguiling, suggestive fables. The stories are of perfect length, but one wishes the book went on for much longer.

Kirkus (starred review)

There are no wasted words in Alomar’s beautiful collection of very short fictions. Philosophical and subversive, these tiny parables deconstruct human failings with a keen insight.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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