The Bamboo Stalk

The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsanousi

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Daring and bold, The Bamboo Stalk takes an unflinching look at the universal struggles of identity, race, and class as they intersect between two disparate societies: Kuwait and the Philippines.

Josephine comes to Kuwait from the Philippines to work as a maid, where she meets Rashid, a spoiled but kind-hearted only son. Josephine, with all the wide-eyed naivety of youth, believes she has found true love. But when she becomes pregnant, and with the rumble of the Gulf War growing ever louder, Rashid abandons her and sends her back home with their baby son José.

Brought up struggling with his dual identity in the Philippines, José clings to the hope of returning to his father`s country when he turns eighteen. But will Kuwait be any more welcoming to him? Will his Kuwaiti family live up to his expectations and alleviate his sense of alienation? Jose’s coming of age tale draws in readers as he explores his own questions about identity and estrangement.

Masterfully written, The Bamboo Stalk is the winner of the 2013 International Prize for Arab Fiction, chosen both for its literary qualities and for “its social and humanitarian content.” Through his complex characters, Alsanousi crafts a captivating saga that boldly deals with issues of identity, alienation, and the phenomenon of foreign workers in Arab countries.

273 pages, published in
Saud Alsanousi

A book by Saud Alsanousi

Saud Alsanousi (Arabic: سعود السنعوسي, born 1981) is a Kuwaiti novelist and journalist. His debut novel The Prisoner of Mirrors (2010) won the Leila Othman Prize. In 2011, his short story The Bonsai and the Old Man won a competition organized by Al-Arabi magazine and BBC Arabic. His novel The Bamboo Stalk, written from the perspective of a boy of mixed Kuwaiti-Filipino parentage about his struggle to find a place in either country, won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (2013). Saud Alsanousi lives in Kuwait and writes for the Al-Qabas newspaper.

The Bamboo Stalk PDF

Saud Alsanousi (Arabic: سعود السنعوسي, born 1981) is a Kuwaiti novelist and journalist. His debut novel The Prisoner of Mirrors (2010) won the Leila Othman Prize. In 2011, his short story The Bonsai and the Old Man won a competition organized by Al-Arabi magazine and BBC Arabic. His novel The Bamboo Stalk, written from the perspective of a boy of mixed Kuwaiti-Filipino parentage about his struggle to find a place in either country, won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (2013). Saud Alsanousi lives in Kuwait and writes for the Al-Qabas newspaper.