The Scrolls of Mud City

Saud Alsanousi

An intricately crafted fictional trilogy, completing in Autumn 2024, with all three to be abridged into one volume for outside the Arabic world.

It’s 1986 and the novelist Sadiq Bouhadab is suffering from writer’s block when an old man in a wheelchair visits him in his office. The old man tells him that he has strange stories to tell that would make a great novel – but they will definitely get him into trouble!

Sadiq is not worried about the trouble as he is very accustomed to problems with government censorship. After hearing the old man’s stories, Sadiq starts writing a trilogy based on events that took place in Kuwait in the time before oil. About an infant kidnapped from his parents in the year 1920, a difficult year in Kuwait, involving tangled relationships of politics, tribal wars, the slave trade, the British presence, and the establishment of the American Evangelical mission. Involving time travel and fortune tellers, a powerful family tale.

‘Today I finished reading the novel The Scrolls of Mud City by the Kuwaiti novelist Saud Al-Sanousi, and I believe that I have not read an epic work since Al-Harafish by Naguib Mahfouz and Cities of Salt by Munif, and I can only place this work in the ranks of those epic works. Here the historical playfully intersects with the legendary, with the realistic. The setting intersects with the story. He makes you believe the game. You follow the work of the literary editor and what he writes in the margin. He plays with your nerves and your patience. The flow of the story continues smoothly, transporting you from one character to another. Lives intersect. Together, each character has the right to exist. They stand in solidarity with some, get upset and sad with each other, and on top of that, it is a work that encourages the reader to continue reading. It is a work written with patience and experience, and in my opinion it is the most beautiful of Al-Sanousi’s works. Here is pure beauty that deserves to be read.’ Zahran Alqasimi, the IPAF winner 2023


  • Moulaph Publications Arabic

Material: Full Arabic text of the first two editions