Mama Hissa's Mice

(Author) (Translator)
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Amazon Crossing
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5.9 X 1.4 X 8.3 inches | 1.15 pounds
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About the Author

Saud Alsanousi is a Kuwaiti novelist and journalist born in 1981. He won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction for The Bamboo Stalk in 2013, and Mama Hissa's Mice was nominated for the 2016/17 Sheikh Zayed Book Award. His first novel, The Prisoner of Mirrors, was published in 2010 and won the fourth Laila al-Othman Prize, a prestigious award for novels and short stories by young writers. He also won first prize for his story "The Bonsai and the Old Man" in the July 2011 Stories on the Air competition organized by Al-Arabi magazine with BBC Arabic. In October 2016, the Gulf Cooperation Council presented Alsanousi with the Contribution to Literature Award in Riyadh. His work has appeared in a number of Kuwaiti publications, including Al-Watan newspaper and Al-Arabi, Al-Kuwait, and Al-Abwab magazines. He currently writes for Al-Qabas newspaper.
Sawad Hussain is an Arabic translator and litterateur who is passionate about Arab culture, history and literature.


"The recently translated Mama Hissa's Mice, by Saud Alsanousi, takes readers to a place where few American readers have ventured: Kuwait...[readers] will discover beautiful writing about the Arab world that includes Mama Hissa's fables. As a character to be culturally translated, Mama Hissa will challenge readers...which leaves readers hungry for even more insight into a country and culture rarely considered in Western literature." --The Washington Post

"It may be tough to read complex novels in these days of social media platforms and fast food fiction, but Mama Hissa's Mice by Saud Al-Sanousi, translated by Sawad Hussain, is worth your time...The novel is intermittently sarcastically comic and harrowingly tragic. Interspersing past and present, the author shows how the every day, every action reverberates into the future. Thus, this book is both a coming of age novel and a contemporary look at the ongoing violence in the Middle East and Persian Gulf States...This novel should be used in classrooms to educate students about what got the world to this place. The novel has a place on the general reader's bookshelf because of lovable Katkout and his desire to do the right thing despite every reason to do the contrary." --New York Journal of Books

"Mama Hissa's Mice is a deeply emotive novel set in a time and place where dangers abound and nothing is certain any more. Saud Alsanousi has created a fine addition to Middle Eastern literature." --Authorlink

"Alsanousi peppers a grim historical narrative of Kuwait with generous doses of warmth doled out by the lively Mama Hissa, Katkout's grandmother...A cast of colorful characters winningly delivers the sights and smells of Kuwait...YAs will appreciate the deep bonds of friendship among Katkout, Fahd, and Sadiq as they grow up in each other's homes." --Booklist

"Translator Sawad Hussain has succeeded in bringing this beautiful, affecting novel to an English-reading audience and has captured clearly the emotional, political, and aesthetic concerns preoccupying the book." --National Public Radio

"Mama Hissa's Mice is a rich and resonant book that asks more questions than it (or anyone) can answer: What do stories--of past grudges, of present loves, of friendship despite historical differences--mean? How do they shape our realities? How much power do we have to change these stories? At times bleak and at others uplifting--the arrival of a young girl who believes in Fuada's Kids' mission toward the end of the novel feels like a symbol of hope and future possibility--Alsanousi's book, reflective of his own particular country, culture and sociopolitical context, can serve as both window and mirror to Western readers." --National Public Radio

"Mama Hissa's Mice by author Saud Alsanousi is a deftly crafted and inherently fascinating novel that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections." --Midwest Book Review

"Mama Hissa's Mice...takes on these serious issues with a passion, but it's also written with a fair amount of emotion, empathy, and even black humor." --The National