Do You Hear in the Mountains and Other Stories
by Maïssa Bey

Have you ever finished reading a book and found yourself sitting there, just sitting there, letting the story really saturate your mind. and thinking to yourself "oh my gosh, we are all just human beings."

Well, if you haven't, I'd recommend the experience.

The best word for this book is profound. It is existential, for sure, but not dark or brooding.

In the opening story (which is also the longest), a young Algerian woman fleeing the devastation that had been visited upon Algeria and her family during the Algeria War finds herself in the company of an elderly French man and young French woman who each had very different experiences during the war. This collision of souls lays bare the absurdity and cruelty of war, as these individuals who had been on opposing sides now find themselves sitting peaceably together in a train car.

Each story is brief and poetic and open to interpretation. It would be lovely to discuss these stories with someone else who had read them, and this book deserves a wider release in a more accessible format.