People Want to Live (October 2021)





“The stories in People Want to Live are ones of aftermath—a lost child, an ambition dashed, an irrevocable mistake. Farah Ali writes with a precise and profound understanding of the most vital dimensions of the human experience, and these stories illuminate how connection can be found in even the bleakest moments. People Want to Live is the work of a thrilling and essential new voice.”

—Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears 

“I might say, truthfully, that these stories will stay with me, but more precisely I mean that the people in these stories will stay with me. Farah Ali masterfully creates characters desperate to change their lives, surrounded by friends, family, neighbors, business associates, and bureaucratic authorities with the power to help, hinder, or sometimes, only stand by helplessly. This is a powerful, devastating collection of characters poised at moments of possible transformation, gripped by both hope and despair.” 

—Caitlin Horrocks, author of Life Among the Terranauts 

“People want to live but they also struggle to live, with their families, their cultures, and themselves. Conjuring an array of characters’ troubles, Farah Ali also supplies an antidote: language to capture them that is startlingly tender at times, often slyly funny, and always particular and surprising.” 

—Polly Rosenwaike, author of Look How Happy I’m Making You: Stories