Selected Kuwaiti stories
Fatma Yousef al-Ali’s short stories open a window on a world that seems a bit mysterious to some Americans. The heroine’s spouse in “Vote for Me!” is not overtly abusive but will certainly not be voting for her. The administrator of public grants detects so many flaws in the applicants that he decides to award them all to himself. Lismira, in her story, is stranded in a gloomy city far from Kuwait, her lover, and her spouse. The heroine in “A Woman’s Pains” is as much a predator as the macho and self-righteous religious enthusiast who climbs in bed with her in a hotel room in Asia, scratching her with his beard. It is hard to strike the right balance in considering the status of women in Kuwait; Fatima Yousef al-Ali with her depictions of women from many walks of life helps the reader better understand the challenges facing Kuwaiti women and thus helps us learn more about ourselves too.