New Project: ‘Aisha Descends into the Underworld’ by Buthaina Al-Eissa

ImageHi everyone! I want to mention a new project that I will be working on (this time a much longer book than TDoaEYP which is currently on hiatus) from a creative voice in the Arab world. I’ve read a book (more like booklet) by Buthaina Al-Eissa, a Kuwaiti writer, before this one that was basically a collection of extremely short stories that spanned a page or two at most and which I was completely absorbed by. Her prose was unlike anything I’ve read before in Arabic literature (not that I’ve read that much Arabic fiction anyway) and I added all of her books to my ‘to-read’ list.

Aisha Descends into the Underworld has been described by reviewers on Good Reads as a book about death and loss, and a journey that takes the readers into the depth of Aisha’s tired soul.

Here’s the blurb on the back of the book (which is actually the first lines of the book):

I am Aisha.
I will die in seven days.
And until then, I decided to write.
I don’t know how writing is supposed to start, probably from a place like this where everything leafs with doubt.

Writing seems to be the only thing I can do. I want to put the last period in the last sentence before I get swallowed by absence.
I have decided for my last days to be like this. I mean, like writing. A word is a fragile and tenuous creature, like me. And I, in my last days, wish to look like me as much as possible. I’m doing this for me; these papers, this writing, this wound: for me.

This writing is not a biography of my life. What has passed isn’t worthy of interest; everything is now done and finished. This writing goes nowhere and I don’t think I have lived a life that deserves to be documented. I am writing to be clear with myself, alone with myself, full of myself. This writing does not cure, but kills.

Death is good, and I wish for it with all my heart.


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