Blasim also has a forthcoming novel, God 99, that follows Hassan Owl, an Iraqi who arrives in Finland as a writer and a refugee.
“when the night’s at its peak and the dark’s full of rain,
and the wet silence roils like a fierce hurricane”
“According to photographer Ali Y. Al-Baroodi, who tweeted from the festival, 7000 books were given to the crowds, and 6000 to the library, now being rebuilt.”
“I’d never imagined Iraq that way and it was as if the other writers just opened up a new portal into Iraq for me, and it was kind of exciting.”
“And if their bodies recover, will their souls do the same?”
“She died, but no lips shook, no cheeks turned white
no doors heard her death tale told and retold,
no blinds were raised for small eyes to behold
the casket as it disappeared from sight.”
“When I decided to study the translations of Sayyab’s poetry, I was shocked when I found that there’s just one book in English about the pioneer of modern Arabic poetry!”
“Yes, the Americans taught Iraqis how to dip—and the Iraqis taught Americans how to drink sweet tea in thin, transparent demi glasses.”
“If I hear another description of veiled faces and intense eyes…”
“It’s publication day for Muhsin al-Ramli’s The President’s Gardens, and translator Luke Leafgren has offered to share one of his copies with an interested ArabLit reader.”
“On one recent afternoon, al-Moussawi drove to an upscale neighborhood and parked at a mall near the University of Baghdad. There the clientele was mainly students, so he put out textbooks, novels and poetry in different languages, and celebrity biographies.”
Iraqi novelist Mortada Gzar — contributor to the recent collection Iraq + 100, participant in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and author of the acclaimed Mr. Azger Akbar (2013) — writes, in his latest novel, about a man who supervised the animals belonging to a son of Saddam Hussein.