by Julia Simpson-Urrutia
Under a Crescent Moon is a collection of stories written while I lived in Saudi Arabia. Many have been published or aired in Saudi Arabia,the U.K. and the U.S.A.
“Fable of a Cherry Tree” is dedicated to cherry trees everywhere because there are, very quietly, so many of us. Some of my readers like it better than all the others.
“The Meat Market” tells of what one has to go through to get groceries deemed acceptable by one’s society (the difficulties of shopping publicly compounded by gender, age, wealth, ethnicity,religion, type of car driven and mood upon waking up). The friend who told this story to me, because it happened to her, is now living in Yemen.
“Up in Smoke” and “The Outing” have been considered so uniquely Saudi they were aired over the BBC World Service (unless they were aired because they are not uniquely Saudi).
“The Swedish Boy and the Camel’s Back” is about how confusing parents’ judgments are, especially when the parents come from different countries.
And, of course, there are other stories.
I am indebted to my ex-husband, a gifted narrator who answered my endless questions and honored me with stories of his childhood, his neighborhood, and his culture.
When I was loneliest, in those days before technological wonders, I would write down a story. I recommend the process. Any flaws or absurdities in these stories (and in my life, driving style, and messy house) come from my own limitations.