People Want to Live
Mcsweeney's Literary Arts Fund
Set primarily in Pakistan, these award-winning stories follow people living on the brink of abandonment – in their personal relationships and their place in the world. A mother, coping with the sudden death of her son, uncovers long buried secrets in his absence. An anguished girl grabs a chance for a life beyond the orphanage walls where she lives and discovers the price of freedom. A young couple tries to keep their fraught relationship steady as a heat wave engulfs their city. A son returns to visit his ageing parents while beset with memories of a troubled childhood. And two thieves find themselves in a situation more precarious by the minute, and more dangerous than their original mission. Farah Ali’s debut collection of thirteen stories, People Want to Live features stories of togetherness and reckless faith in the face of a world that’s built to break us. Her characters mount battle with loneliness and in their fight reveal surprising vulnerabilities and an astonishing measure of hope.
Farah Ali is from Pakistan. Her work has been anthologized in the 2020 Pushcart Prize as well as received special mention in the 2018 Pushcart anthology. Her stories can be found in Shenandoah, The Arkansas International, The Southern Review, Kenyon Review online, Copper Nickel, and others.