“All the events described in this novel were either directly experienced by the author or related to him by others. He assures us they are all real.”
Next month will mark the tenth anniversary of the bombing of Baghdad’s al-Mutanabbi Street, the city’s historic bookselling corridor.
The furniture too corresponds with the wood,
the way distant sons write to their mothers
Only the tree whose child they’ve carved into a coffin,
does not receive any mail.
“I strongly doubt that there is an “internal” literature or an “external” literature. If there are writers here working from the heart of the swamps, that doesn’t mean writers abroad are working from within an ivory tower, even if each certainly brings different experiences to their work.”
In the end, the author gives us two possible endings. Do we choose to save Wadoud and send him outside Iraq to have a new life and a new chance outside Iraq, where he will publish his index? Or will Namir publish the index after Wadoud’s life ends?
In this essay, Afrah said that “freedom of expression” was the phrase most frequently used by Iraqi politicians post-2003, “yet our lives, we journalists, are risked every time we criticize any head, even if it were the head of onion.”
Iraq is often portrayed as a place that has always been violent and always will be. By germinating new narrative possibilities, Iraq + 100 provides new ways of imagining the next century that go beyond seeing the present as eternal.
“My role? For years I would receive emails, hate mail from the Arab world. Now I get hate mail from Finns! Because I speak about racism, about refugees.”
Ten titles were selected for the Autumn 2016 round of PEN Translates awards.
“Basra is a pioneer in writing fiction and this is probably because Basra is a multi-ethnic and -nationality city, or used to be, until it was depopulated of these many ethnic and national citizens with the passage of time, such as the Jews, Armenians, Christians and some other foreign residents.”
Next March marks the tenth anniversary of the bombing of Baghdad’s Al-Mutanabbi Street, the city’s historic bookselling corridor. Many continue to remember.
“What then could come out of bringing these different Iraqi and American experiences of the war, these different time-frames, into dialogue? And what would be lost?”