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Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS - By Dr Ner­min Al-Houti — Trans­lated by Kuwait Times

Through the novel, Hus­seini gave a sci­en­tific cul­tural and lit­eral dose to the read­ers

Souls Ex­change Kisses’ by nov­el­ist Mo­ham­mad Bas­sam Al-Hus­seini ends with page 158, which is par­tially in­com­plete. The reader can ei­ther end the story as­sum­ing the main char­ac­ter’s death or leave it to one’s imag­i­na­tion. The novel re­volves around our main char­ac­ter, a highly ed­u­cated girl who suf­fers leukemia, and dur­ing her treat­ment, she pla­ton­i­cally falls in love with her doc­tor who does not know about her feel­ings for him.

As the story pro­gresses, the doc­tor re­al­izes his pa­tient’s love for read­ing and sug­gests her to write about self-re­cov­ery. Dur­ing the treat­ment, three fe­males suf­fer­ing from can­cer are mur­dered while be­ing un­der treat­ment. These crimes at­tract the at­ten­tion of our main char­ac­ter and she starts work­ing to­wards iden­ti­fy­ing the cul­prit with the help of the me­dia. Soon, the cul­prit is iden­ti­fied. The cul­prit had be­come a nurse af­ter her daughter died of can­cer. She as­sumes that killing can­cer pa­tients is a way to aid them by end­ing their suf­fer­ing. Later, the con­di­tion of our main char­ac­ter wors­ens, and she dis­cov­ers that the doc­tor is mar­ried and has a fam­ily, but be­lieves that love is the meet­ing of souls with­out the body know­ing about it.

Through the novel, Hus­seini gave a sci­en­tific cul­tural and lit­eral dose to the read­ers as he ex­plained ev­ery de­tail very in­no­va­tively. For ex­am­ple, Ricin, which was used in the killing, was ex­plained through the char­ac­ters as part of their con­ver­sa­tion. Hus­seini also used things such as palm read­ing, through which he wanted to prove that no mat­ter how ad­vanced a man gets, when he loses hope, he seeks for mys­te­ri­ous ways to re­vive that lost hope.

Nov­el­ist Mo­ham­mad Al-Hus­seini made a clear change in the art of writ­ing, through the ma­tu­rity of the char­ac­ters. His writ­ing def­i­nitely made the reader ex­pe­ri­ence the events in the novel in a re­al­is­tic way. Hus­seini cre­ated a process of co­a­les­cence be­tween the reader and the words ‘souls ex­change kisses’. “Our mother is our life’s main as­set, if she goes away, our lives turn into a city of asy­lums,” said Hus­seini.

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