"Alzayat's slim, powerful debut collection showcases the author's deep empathy and imagination in stories about grief, assimilation, and trauma... This intelligent collection is a force to be reckoned with."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Originality meets craft."
--Anne Enright, author of The Gathering
"Dima Alzayat scrys the past, spinning narratives that are ahead of our time. War, politics and power come clashing together in these inventive stories that flit between styles and perspectives with dexterity. Alzayat may be the first person to realize that our history is our own black mirror."
--Jacob Hoefer, Labyrinth Books (Princeton, NJ)
"In the hands of many other writers, these nine stories that take place around the world, that take place in different voices and tenses and even periods of time, that unspool in vastly different formats, might feel disconnected or disjointed. In the deft and decisive hands of Dima Alzayat, ALLIGATOR's stories are nothing if not inextricable from one another, bonded together, better as their nine-story whole than as nine separate parts. The title story will read as the standout to many people due to its collaging, its ghost story, its careful expansion, through fiction, upon a little-known event in American history in a way that ultimately does justice to the victims and families at the center of its true conflict. But though other stories may appear less innovative formally, they're no less gut-wrenching and their characters no less captivating; in many ways they're just as eager to dispense with the usual anglophone rules about story structure and pacing as their sibling "Alligator." And each story pushes the reader towards a slow dawning of realization about its moral core and meaning, a wave cresting that breaks just before the end and leaves emotional flotsam in its wake. Prepare to be tossed by ALLIGATOR's tide, and beware of what lurks just below the surface."
--Anna Weber, White Whale Bookstore (Pittsburgh, PA)
"Powerful short story collection written from different perspectives. The title story is a must-read!"
--Dave Lucey, Page 158 Books (Wake Forest, NC)
"Alzayat's compassion for her characters runs deep in this book. I especially can't stop thinking about the title story--an original, heartbreaking and hypnotic collage."
--Katya Apekina, author of The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish
"In the debut short story collection Alligator, author Dima Alzayat proves herself an incredible literary chameleon, writing across history, nationality, gender and age with deep nuance and empathy. The title story, "Alligator," is an ambitious, original take on the history of racist violence in the United States. The range of voices and perspectives rendered with such authenticity in this collection is a major accomplishment. Together the stories form a patchwork of loss and grief that are unsentimental yet resonant."
--Dana Czapnik, author of The Falconer
"I found [Alligator] tremendously assured, wise-cracking and elegaic, with a firm pulse on the magical and mundane. I loved its hard-edged lyricism and the tremendous empathetic range and distinctiveness of vision that Dima Alzayat demonstrates in this wonderful collection that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt caught between cultures, places and the interstices of memory and the loaded everyday."
--Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti