Allen & Unwin, $19.95 pb, 180 pp
The word ‘mahjar’, Eva Sallis informs us, ‘refers collectively to all the lands of Arab, most often Lebanese, migration’. Her third book of fiction is a slight volume composed of fifteen stories, divided into three sections. In deceptively simple prose and syntax, Sallis surveys the gamut of experiences affecting the displaced migrant. As in her previous novels, Hiam and The City of Sealions, a beguiling mixture of fantasy, fact, and fable make up the fabric of the book. With a PhD in comparative literature (Arabic and English), Sallis is well placed to oscillate between two cultures, and Mahjar is a perfect vehicle to showcase cross-cultural interactions.