Love and death and the passage between entry into the world and exit from it are the focus of this collection of short stories. The author is an Iraqi author who has lived in Cairo since 1979. Despite this physical and temporal distance from her homeland, much of her material derives from it and many of the stories in this collection reflect her deeply felt stalgia for Iraq. In contrast to many contemporary female writers, she confesses to being less interested in the position of women in society than in that of people in general and the sufferings they experience between birth and the end of life. None the less, some of her best stories depict the many-coloured relationships that exist between the sexes.
BUTHAINA AL NASIRI, born in Iraq in 1947, graduated from the College of Arts of the University of Baghdad and has lived in Cairo since 1979, where she runs a publishing house that specializes in the works of Iraqi writers under UN sanctions. Five collections of her own short stories have been published in Arabic. DENYS JOHNSON-DAVIES is the pioneer translator of modern Arabic literature, with more than 25 volumes of translation to his name including Under the Naked Sky: Short Stories from the Arab World (AUC Press, 2001). He lives in Cairo.