People Want to Live

Category: Book
By (author): Ali, Farah
Subject:  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Short Stories (single author)
Publisher: McSweeney's Publishing
Published: October 2021
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 222
Size: 8.40in x 5.90in x 1.00in
Our Price:
$ 30.95
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

Set primarily in Pakistan, these award-winning stories follow people living on the brink of abandonment- in their personal relationships and their place in the world. A mother, coping with the sudden death of her son, uncovers long buried secrets in his absence. An anguished girl grabs a chance for a life beyond the orphanage walls where she lives and discovers the price of freedom. A young couple tries to keep their fraught relationship steady as a heat wave engulfs their city. A son returns to visit his ageing parents while beset with memories of a troubled childhood. And two thieves find themselves in a situation more precarious by the minute, and more dangerous than their original mission. Farah Ali's debut collection of thirteen stories, People Want to Live features stories of togetherness and reckless faith in the face of a world that's built to break us. Her characters mount battle with loneliness and in their fight reveal surprising vulnerabilities and an astonishing measure of hope.

Review Quote*

"The stories in People Want to Live are ones of aftermath-a lost child, an ambition dashed, an irrevocable mistake. Farah Ali writes with a precise and profound understanding of the most vital dimensions of the human experience, and these stories illuminate how connection can be found in even the bleakest moments. People Want to Live is the work of a thrilling and essential new voice."
-Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

"I might say, truthfully, that these stories will stay with me, but more precisely I mean that the people in these stories will stay with me. Farah Ali masterfully creates characters desperate to change their lives, surrounded by friends, family, neighbors, business associates, and bureaucratic authorities with the power to help, hinder, or sometimes, only stand by helplessly. This is a powerful, devastating collection of characters poised at moments of possible transformation, gripped by both hope and despair."
-Caitlin Horrocks, author of Life Among the Terranauts

"People want to live but they also struggle to live, with their families, their cultures, and themselves. Conjuring an array of characters' troubles, Farah Ali also supplies an antidote: language to capture them that is startlingly tender at times, often slyly funny, and always particular and surprising."
-Polly Rosenwaike, author of Look How Happy I'm Making You: Stories

"Farah Ali's astonishing debut collection brings to life a place and people with the skill and emotional honesty of a master craftsman. But it is her Chekhovian political conscience–her respect for individuals caught in the push and pull of bigger forces–which makes these stories so powerful. One is left with a greater and deeper sense of humanity for reading them. A truly remarkable book."
-Brian Castleberry, author of Nine Shiny Objects

"I have never been to Karachi, Pakistan but I will be forever grateful to Farah Ali for taking me there. In these stories, she writes about the place and its people with such sharp insight and frank tenderness that I dreaded turning the last page."
-Rachel Beanland, author of Florence Adler Swims Forever

Biographical Note

Farah Ali is from Pakistan. Her work has been anthologized in the 2020 Pushcart Prize as well as received special mention in the 2018 Pushcart anthology. Her stories can be found in Shenandoah, The Arkansas International, The Southern Review, Kenyon Review online, Copper Nickel, and others.