1: The Journey Begins

Both for me and Amir, the main character of my novella/novel: Dying Man’s Wish.


The Orontes, or “The Green River.” This is a scene-to-be in Dying Man’s Wish. I took this picture of the Asi (Orontes) River near the Beqqa Valley, in Lebanon. (Excuse the poor quality of this image; this is just a screenshot of the actual image).


The coming-of-age plot centers around the son of a grave robber, Amir, as he begins to gain perspective on life and death in an ancient Middle Eastern society. The setting will bring to life some of the monuments and stories native to the Middle East. In this way, I aspire to both comment on and alter history through a creative lens, the way I imagine my ancestors interacted with the monuments, or lived the stories we now tell. It’s almost like re-writing history, the way I imagine it, to create a piece of historical fiction.

The plot is narrated by Death, an opinionated, all-knowing entity whose form is left up to the imagination of the reader. Ironically, Death offers comedic relief at times, and bits of experiential wisdom at others. Mostly, though, Death is the primary raconteur of the story.

Other elements I want to incorporate into the novel/novella include social and political commentary on issues that still impact the Middle East today. In this way, I hope to discuss modern issues that are really just continuations of ancient issues, such as women’s rights and political corruption. Doing this grants me a way to discreetly, but not innocuously, “show the world its own shame,” in the words of Oscar Wilde.

But I also want to show the world its own beauty. In part, that is where the image above, along with others, come in. I will incorporate a series of images I have taken in my travels abroad to serve as various settings. More on this later 😉

Thank you for reading!

One thought to “1: The Journey Begins”

  1. I’m so excited to read your novel/novella! From what you’ve told us in class it already sounds amazing, and I’m even more excited now learning that you’re planning on making slight commentary on Middle Eastern history / culture. I think this type of approach will really make your work stand out, and I am interested to see how you implement it into your storyline.

    I think the choice to leave Death as a sexually and physically ambiguous character is genius — each reader will be able to develop their own imagery Death, which I think will make the story more alluring and impactful.

    Additionally, I love what you said about showing the world its shame and its beauty. That statement in and of itself gives me chills (in a good way), and I am confident that your story will do the same. I also love the image you included because it gave me an entirely new idea of your story’s setting. Although I have never seen “The Green River” myself, the image you included seems so serene, and I think that will pair perfectly with a story centered around death; death is obviously a dark topic, but I think your story will show readers a different side to it all, and bring to light all the beauty in life, and perhaps even in death as well.

    Can’t wait for the next update!!

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