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Fiction Friday: Read the Short Story “Sausages” by Igiaba Scego

La Mia Casa e Dove SonoOltre BabiloniaThe English translation of the award-winning short story “Sausages” by Igiaba Scego, of Somalian parentage, has been shared on Warscapes. Scego, who lives in Rome, won the Eks & Tra Prize for this story, first published in Italian, in 2003.

In “Sausages” the Sunni Muslim protagonist surprises herself by buying a package of sausages. “I don’t know what came over me,” she says. “I am sure that the urge to sin was the last thing on my mind – in fact, not even remotely present in my thoughts. So, why those damned sausages?”

It dawns on her that her crisis of identity began with the announcement that “all non-EEC immigrants who wish to renew their permits must be fingerprinted as a preventive measure”. She wonders if she is considered Italian or Somalian. “Italy or Somalia? Doubt. Fingerprints or no fingerprints? Horrendous doubt.”

Today, Wednesday August 14, 2002, at 9:30 am, something odd happened to me. For reasons of my own that are still unclear to me, I bought a large quantity of sausages. The odd thing about this is not in the buying of the sausages; anyone can do that, anyone can go into any old shop on any godforsaken street and say:

“Hey, ma’am, wouldya gimme 12 pounds of sausages? The very best, ma’am, the kind that melts like butter in your mouth.”

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Image courtesy Zimbio


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