BookBrowse Reviews Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan

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Temporary People

by Deepak Unnikrishnan

Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan
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  • Published:
    Mar 2017, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts

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With absurdist touches, guest workers of the United Arab Emirates embody multiple worlds and identities, and long for home.

In this powerful and innovative collection of 28 short stories, Deepak Unnikrishnan presents a window into the lives of the "temporary" workers of the United Arab Emirates, immigrants with no path to legitimate citizenship, generally employed in the service or construction industries, often under deplorable conditions. The view is disconcerting, surreal, and, perhaps most remarkably, sometimes hilarious.

One of the most affecting stories concerns a woman whose job involves healing construction workers who have fallen from Abu Dhabi's tall buildings, which she does by gluing, taping, or sewing them back together. A series of interrelated pieces revolves around genetically engineered laborers grown in a Dubai lab and their attempt at a rebellion against their creators, an apt metaphor for disenfranchised migrant workers who likely feel similarly objectified. In one brief account, a ...

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