Tales from the Town of Rising Sun

Miral al-Tahawy

The events of Tales from the Town of Rising Sun are sandwiched between the suicide of Jamal, a young man torn between different identities, in the opening pages, and the suicide of Mimi, an African girl who has survived a massacre in her country, at the end of the novel. They take place in an imagined small town called Shining Sun on the southwestern border of America, where the illegal smuggling of workers and immigrants is a daily occurrence. The novel sheds light on a group marginalized in Western society who are – incorrectly – regarded as the survivors, and gives them a voice, delving deep into their concerns. Whilst it is a classic example of a narrative conveying the disorientation of exile, above all else it platforms the foreigner’s perspective; simultaneously rebelling against this new reality and finding a way to adapt to its harshness.


Dar al-Ain


2023 Shortlist