Heads Ripe for Plucking
by Wardani, M. Al-
Beheadings, both literal and metaphorical are the subject of the six stories in Heads Ripe Plucking. The narrative takes us from the most archetypal beheading in Arabo-Islamic history, that of al-Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, via the torture of communists in Nasser’s detention camps, and the meanderings of a Cairene teenager unwittingly caught in the “bread riots” of 1977. Mahmoud Al-Wardani’s novel garnered critical acclaim for its experimentation with language and its excavation of alternative histories.