Review of Scattered Crumbs, by Muhsin Al-Ramli
Muhsin Al-Ramli has written his novel, Scattered Crumbs, in a poetic fashion. The short story is about a typical Iraqi family living in a village and the setting is the Iran-Iraq war. The story evokes a lugubrious charm about life in an impoverished village and Al-Ramli's poetic style generates the sensation of a sinuous, graceful, flowing movement that can be described as his manner of writing. The use of descriptive words contributes greatly to Al-Ramli’s manner of writing. An excerpt taken from the story which exemplifies this point: The girl looked small, beautiful, like a child's doll, her fingers clinging to the elbow of her fat groom, whose blubber almost rent the sleeves of his suit and burst its buttons as he wiped off the sweat oozing from his flushed temples and squat neck. There is layer in the writing - as the story takes place certain individual characters are abating and weakening and simultaneously the country of Iraq is waning and deteriorating. The author’s unique style of writing illustrates the unusual relationships between a handful of people, each character represents or symbolically exudes the different wanes and mores of the Iraqi government and country at the time. For example, there is a relationship between father and son in the story, the father playing the head figure and supporting the dictator while the son refuses to paint the dictators face. In today’s global society it is becoming more and more essential for people to be able to read true and honest short stories such as this one, even if to just take a glimpse at a world unknown to them.