In the United Arab Emirates, foreign nationals constitute over 80 percent of the population. Brought in to construct and serve the towering monuments to wealth that punctuate the skylines of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, this labor force is not given the option of citizenship. Until now, the humanitarian crisis of the so-called ‘guest workers’ of the Gulf has barely been addressed in fiction. With his stunning, mind-altering debut novel, Deepak Unnikrishnan delves into their histories, myths, struggles, and triumphs. Combining the linguistic invention of Salman Rushdie and the satirical vision of George Saunders, Unnikrishnan presents twenty-eight linked stories, moving from construction workers who shapeshift into luggage and escape a labor camp to a woman who stitches back together the bodies of those who’ve fallen from buildings in progress, to a man who grows ideal workers designed to live twelve years and then perish—until they don’t, and found a rebel community in the desert. With this polyphony of voices, Unnikrishnan maps a new, unruly global English and gives personhood back to the anonymous workers of the Gulf. His debut marks the arrival of a major talent.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - RidgewayGirl - LibraryThing
Deepak Unnikrishnan's book is a collection of short stories set in United Arab Emirates, primarily among the guest workers who make up a majority of the population of the UAE, and have made their ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Dreesie - LibraryThing
An odd book, I don't really know what to think. I found the first half to be a struggle, but the second went quickly--maybe due to the 6-day backpacking trip I took in the middle of reading this? I am ... Read full review