International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist Countdown: Reading ‘Tashari’

ArabLit and 7iber continue coverage of this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) longlist – in English and Arabic — with Inaam Kachachi and Tashari, a word in the Iraqi dialect for being scattered and fragmented, as though shot from a hunting rifle. 

inaam_kachachi_square__mainInaam Kachachi was born in Baghdad in 1952, and studied journalism at Baghdad University. She covered the news in Iraq before moving to Paris to complete a PhD at the Sorbonne. She continues to work as a journalist, writing for Asharq Al-Awsat and Kol Al-Usra.

Kachachi has published a biography, Lorna, about the British artist Lorna Hales. Her first novel Heart Springs appeared in 2005 and her second novel, The American Granddaughter, was shortlisted for IPAF in 2009.

Tashari, which was supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, deals with the tragedy of Iraqi displacement through the life of a female doctor working in southern Iraq in the 1950s. The narrative also follows her three children, who now live in three different continents, including her eldest who works as a doctor in a remote region of Canada.

Max Marin’s interview with Inaam Kachachi: On ‘Tashari’ and the Iraq She Carries With Her

Read an excerpt of Kachachi’s 2009-shortlisted novel: An American Granddaughtertrans. Nariman Youssef.

Previously featured novels:

Amir Tag Elsir’s ’366

Ashraf al-Khamaisi’s ’God’s Land of Exile

Ibrahim Abdelmeguid’s ‘Clouds Over Alexandria’


  1. Phonetically speaking it is tashshary, which means the state of being scattered and fragmented everywhere. A hunting rifle may cause the state but tashshary is not the rifle in itself. Thanx.

    1. Thanks for clarifying. Should have double-checked!

  2. This is completely wrong. The novel is about a decent English bloke who moves to Bordeaux in the 50s and ends up marrying his French mistress. The actual title is: Ta’, cheri!

  3. Dear friends : I read Arabic reviews about the novel and as an Iraqi myself and use the word “tashshari” from time to time , I insist on my first comment. Best.

    1. Kadhim, I don’t think anyone disagreed with you.

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