Death by Perfume – You Jin, translated by Jeremy Tiang
In the late 1970s, a young Singaporean writer arrives in Jeddah with an infant son. She encounters a strange and often hostile environment with curiosity, empathy and good humour.
In this collection of linked stories, the narrator confronts a bored expat wife with dangerously extravagant tastes, a divorced engineer with the face of a camel, and a desperate security guard who only finds solace in downing bottles of perfume. Beguiling, plaintive and profoundly insightful, You Jin’s fiction is a beautiful evocation of Saudi society.