The long supper 

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  • Published 20221101
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-74-0
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

MY SISTER INSPIRED hunger a breath from anguish. Mother fell unconscious the minute she gave birth to her, and our grandmother snatched the red baby close and said, Oh…I could eat this girl up alive. Nadia was the name they chose: the one who calls. At fourteen, she put on the hijab. Schoolboys took this as a blow, like she was wrapping a caramel candy. When first the man who would become her husband saw her at a community dinner, he grimaced and turned his face down to his plate. To his father beside him, I heard him say, God, am I starved. I saw his grip on the cutlery whiten and his brow develop a sheen. He kept looking between my sister and the meat on his dish, blinking and sweating, like they had brought him the wrong piece of steak.

Something in her made men and women alike want to grab a handful, take a bite. It might have been a sweetness. It might have been the air of something ripe. It had little to do with beauty; we were both amply supplied in that arena. It had little to do with weight; her cheeks suggested the consistency of a bao bun, but so did mine.

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