Saud Alsanousi born in 1981 is a Kuwaiti novelist, journalist and winner of the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. His debut novel The Prisoner of Mirrors (2010) won the Leila Othman Prize. In 2011, his short story The Bonsai and the Old Man won a competition organized by Al-Arabi magazine and BBC Arabic. His novel The Bamboo Stalk, about immigrant workers, won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (2013). His work has appeared in a number of Kuwaiti publications, including Al-Watan newspaper and Al-Arabi, Al-Kuwait and Al-Abwab magazines
Saud Alsanousi lives in Kuwait and writes for the Al-Qabas newspaper.
The Bamboo Stalk Synopsis
Josephine comes to Kuwait from the Philippines to work as a household servant, leaving behind her studies and family, who are pinning their hopes for a better future on her. In the house where she works, she meets Rashid, the spoiled only son of his mother Ghanima and father Issa. After a brief love affair, he decides to marry Josephine, on condition that the marriage remains a secret. But things do not go according to plan. Josephine becomes pregnant with José and Rashid abandons them when the child is less than two months old, sending his son away to the Philippines. There he struggles with poverty and clings to the hope of returning to his father’s country when he is eighteen. It is at this point that the novel begins.
The Bamboo Stalk is a daring work which looks objectively at the phenomenon of foreign workers in Arab countries and deals with the problem of identity through the life of a young man of mixed race who returns to Kuwait, the ‘dream’ or ‘heaven’ which his mother had described to him since he was a child.