Picador has acquired a collection of short stories from "really exciting talent" Dima Alzayat.
Editor Ansa Khan Khattak bought UK and Commonwealth rights for Alligator and Other Stories from Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedmann. It is scheduled for publication in 2020.
The synopsis explains: “Dima writes luminously of feeling displaced – as a Syrian, as an Arab, as a woman – always as an ‘other’. Told through the lens of often very everyday scenarios, her stories are rich, relatable, and full of nuance. Each of the stories in the collection is startling and real, but delivers an emotional punch that stays with the reader long after we’ve finished reading.”
Born in Damascus and raised in California, Alzayat now lives in Manchester where she is a PhD student and associate lecturer at Lancaster University. She has won the 2017 Bristol Short Story Prize, a 2018 Northern Writers’ Award for fiction and the 2015 Bernice Slote Award for work by a new writer.
Khattak said: “There is so much in Alligator: stories that explore family and inheritance, identity and gender, but also such emotional depth and flashes of humour. The stories are wonderful and entertaining in and of themselves, but also explore subtly and brilliantly questions around immigration and the difficulties of grafting one identity onto another. Dima’s ability to inhabit so many different voices make me convinced that this is the start of a brilliant career.”