Mazen Maarouf | Granta

Mazen Maarouf

Mazen Maarouf is a writer, poet, translator and journalist. His story collection Jokes for the Gunmen was translated into English by Jonathan Wright, and longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. Since then, he has published (in Arabic) a second collection called Rats That Licked the Karate Champion’s Ear and recently the interlinked stories Sunshine on the Substitute Beach. He is working on a novel.


Jokes for the Gunmen

Mazen Maarouf

Translated by Jonathan Wright


A brilliant collection of fictions in the vein of Roald Dahl, Etgar Keret and Amy Hempel. These are stories of what the world looks like from a child’s pure but sometimes vengeful or muddled perspective. These are stories of life in a war zone, life peppered by surreal mistakes, tragic accidents and painful encounters. These are stories of fantasist matadors, lost limbs and perplexed voyeurs. This is a collection about sex, death and the all-important skill of making life into a joke. These are unexpected stories by a very fresh voice. These stories are unforgettable.