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Dubai Journalist Releases First Book: ‘The Witch Doctor of Umm Suqeim’

Posted on 08 September 2013 by Alice

Dubai journalist Craig Hawes has launched his first book, ‘TheWitch Doctor of Umm Suqeim’, published by Parthian Books, Wales.

The Witch Doctor of Umm Suqeim

A vision of contemporary Dubai from the perspective of a variety of expats from different parts of the world, telling tales of hardship and the highlife, paranoia and alienation, cruelty and love. The locations switch from parties at mansions to high-rise apartment blocks,taxi interiors to gyms, featuring an array of characters that span the city’s wide social spectrum. In the Arabian Gulf emirate of Dubai, the lives of locals and expatriates intertwine and collide as they strive to negotiate the shifting mores of an ever-changing city.

“When I looked in Dubai bookshops for fiction set in the UAE, written from an expat perspective,I couldn’t find anything at all. That was in 2003. Ten years on, it’s pretty much the same.But while I felt there was a gap in the market, I know Dubai would have seeped into my writing at some point anyway.It’s been a big part of my life for the past decade,” Hawes said.

Craig Hawes

Craig Hawes grew up in Briton Ferry, South Wales. He has worked as a journalist in London and Dubai, where he currently lives. He was shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize 2009, Runner-up in the Rhys Davies Prize 2010, and placed third in the Yeovil Short Story Prize, 2010. Hawes’ short stories have appeared in several publications and prize-winning anthologies including Blue Tattoo and the Bristol Prize Anthology in 2009. He has also had stories and an afternoon play broadcast on BBC Radio 4.As a journalist Hawes has had work published by the London Evening Standard, Sunday Times Style,Big Issue, Time Out Dubai and many others.

‘This is how we need to assess culture clash and, indeed, general confrontation born from intractable socio-political differences;with cool, clear,precise and prismatic prose.Hawesdoes exactly this with tremendous skill and sensitivity.’- Niall Griffiths

‘Hawes’ collection of short stories are a superb snapshot of the expat experience, devoid of cliche and dripping with pathos and humour and fear and scandal and hope.’ – James Montague

‘A writer who is clearly an exquisite stylist, with copious and choice vocabulary and a succinct restraint of manner.’- Stevie Davies

Launch events are taking place in Dubai and the UK. Available in hardback October 1st, priced, £10
ISBN 9781908946706


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2 Responses to “Dubai Journalist Releases First Book: ‘The Witch Doctor of Umm Suqeim’”

  1. Gwen says:

    Hey Alice,
    This sounds like a great book – thanks for the very interesting write-up. Could you get me a copy? I’ll pay you for it when we meet next! xx Gwen

  2. Hisham Wyne says:

    Nice one, that man!