author interview
selected story: The Top


The Time between Places
Stories That Weave In and Out of Egypt and America
Pauline Kaldas

Tales that reveal intimate struggles with identity and place

“Pauline Kaldas’s The Time between Places is one of those remarkable books that lets you in behind closed doors, offering a collection of tales that illustrates what it means to leave, to start over, to live in two worlds. In lyrical prose that is powerful in its subtlety, Kaldas’s stories tell of quiet conflicts, unfulfilled dreams, and swallowed ambitions. The Time between Places is a gem.”
—Laila Halaby, author of Once in a Promised Land and West of Jordan

“Kaldas takes the short story form and makes it her own, writing with
urgency and a unique understanding of the tensions which surround the immigrant experience. Here is a writer confident in her craft and imagination. These are very welcome and important stories which simultaneously test and instruct, and always leave a mark.”
—Marcia Douglas, author of Notes from a Writer’s Book of Cures and Spells

This collection of twenty stories delves into the lives of Egyptian
characters, from those living in Egypt to those who have immigrated to the United States. With subtle and eloquent prose, the complexities of these characters are revealed, opening a door into their intimate struggles with identity and place. We meet people who are tempted by the possibilities of America and others who are tempted by the desire to return home. Some are in the throes of re-creating themselves in the new world while others seem to be embedded in the loss of their homeland. Many of these characters, although physically located in either the United States or Egypt, have lives that embrace both cultures.

“A Game of Chance” follows the actions of a young man when he wins the immigration lottery and then must decide whether or not to change his life. “Cumin and Coriander” takes us inside a woman’s thoughts as she tries to come to terms with the path her life has taken while working as a cook for American expatriates in Egypt. “The Top” enters the mind of a man whose immigration results in a loss of identity and sanity. These compelling stories pull us into the lives of many different characters and offer us striking insights into the Arab American experience.

Pauline Kaldas was born in Egypt and immigrated to the United States in 1992. She is an associate professor of English at Hollins University and the author of Letters from Cairo; a poetry collection, Egyptian Compass; and co-editor, with Khaled Mattawa, of Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction, now in its second edition, which won the 2005 Silver Award in ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year “Anthology” category. Stories from The Time between Places have appeared in a variety of journals and books, including Callaloo, Mizna, and Ripe Guava.

6 x 9, 220 pages
$19.95 paper
ISBN 978-1-55728-924-7
$65.00 (s) unjacketed cloth
ISBN 978-1-55728-947-6