Mother of All Pigs

Malu Halasa

The Sabas family lives in a small Jordanian town that for centuries has been descended upon by all manner of invaders, and now Evangelical tourists. The community relies on bric-a-brac smuggled in during the throes of war, the quality of which depends entirely on who’s fighting.

This time the action is in Syria, and the threat of ISIS lies just across the border. Hussein Sabas is the Levant’s only pig butcher, selling all manner of chops, sausages, and hams, much to the chagrin of his observant neighbors.

His home is ruled by women: Mother Fadhma, his wife, Laila, sister Samira, and now, niece Muna, who is visiting from America for the first time. Each with their own secrets and challenges, regrets and desires, from past loves to illegal political activity. 

Enchanting and fearless, Halasa's prose intertwines the lives of three generations of women as they navigate stifling cultural practices and confront the political realities of life in the Middle East.   

Cover art: Haphazard Synchronizations: Majd Masri, YAYA2016