By turns dark and tender, this short story collection revolves around a very timely theme: what happens when things go wrong. Sometimes these things are as ordinary as a family meal spoiled by an argument; sometimes they’re of a more mysterious or life-changing sort. Sunni is an ageing drug dealer and one of his associates has just been turned into a zebra, leaving the whereabouts of a valuable stash of goods a mystery. Marwa returns from a picnic with her daughter to find that the street in Neukölln where they live, has been sealed off because an unexploded second-world-war bomb has appeared in their back garden. Haytham El-Wardany is a master of the short form, and Things That Can’t Be Fixed is typical of his ability to craft a compelling story out of simple ingredients: lightly sketched characters, relatable situations, an occasional gothic twist. The characters in these stories are up against mistakes, breakups, glitches, spells and sheer bad luck—the question is what, if anything, they can do about it.
Approximate number of pages: 243 p.
Foreign rights: contact the author‘s agent