The long-awaited short-story collection Iraq + 100 is set for release November 17, 2016. This month, editor Hassan Blasim and translator Jonathan Wright will talk about the work:
The PEN-supported collection features writing by the pseudonymous Anoud, as well as Hassan Abdulrazzak, Ibrahim Al-Marashi, Zhraa Alhaboby, Ali Bader, Hassan Blasim, Mortada Gzar, Jalal Hasan, Diaa Jubaili and Khalid Kaki.
Anoud has written a short essay for English PEN, “Why Kahramana?” about her short story in the collection.
Comma Press promises:
Iraq + 100 poses a question to ten Iraqi writers: what might your country look like in the year 2103 – a century after the disastrous American- and British-led invasion, and 87 years down the line from its current, nightmarish battle for survival? How might the effects of that one intervention reach across a century of repercussions, and shape the lives of ordinary Iraqi citizens, or influence its economy, culture, or politics? Might Iraq have finally escaped the cycle of invasion and violence triggered by 2003 and, if so, what would a new, free Iraq look like?
Covering a range of approaches – from science fiction, to allegory, to magic realism – these stories use the blank canvas of the future to explore the nation’s hopes and fears in equal measure. Along the way a new aesthetic for the ‘Iraqi fantastical’ begins to emerge: thus we meet time-travelling angels, technophobic dictators, talking statues, macabre museum-worlds, even hovering tiger-droids, and all the time buoyed by a dark, inventive humour that, in itself, offers hope.
It will be released first in English, and then in Arabic, according to Blasim, who is in the UK and will be talking about the three years of work that went into the collection.
You can find him on October 14 at the Ilkley Literature Festival, St. Margaret’s Hall at 7:30 p.m. This event is one of the Festival Director’s Top Picks; £5/£3 tickets and more information here.
On October 15, Iraq + 100 will be featured as part of the London Literature Festival, at the Southbank Centre, at 4:00 p.m. According to Southbank Centre, “At this talk, Blasim is joined by Zhraa Alhaboby, a medical doctor, researcher and novelist, and Jonathan Wright, a British journalist and literary translator, to discuss the fate of Iraq and the power of fiction as a lens through which one may envision the future.” More on tickets here.