"For readers who find comparisons useful in thinking about books, two spring to mind. The first — somewhat obvious given the century-long span and focus on the interwoven tales of a single town — is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s global classic 'A Hundred Years of Solitude.'
"Where Garcia Marquez implies mysterious grandiosity and magical realism, Muaddi Darraj, however, works on a more human, domestic scale — one might say a more 'female' approach — and of individual lives and loves.
"In this, Muaddi Darraj’s work is also reminiscent of Louise Erdrich’s acclaimed novels of Native American life. In addition to Erdrich’s multivoiced style, 'A Curious Land' shares her ability to paint warmly affectionate, carefully critical and subtly political portraits of life in communities subject to oppression and marginalization — but where people are refusing to be defined by their experiences of suffering."
Muaddi Darraj won the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction in 2014 from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and was published by UMass Press October 2015. Her book is A Curious Land: Stories from Home.