"What I mean by this is only in English could I fully inhabit and write from the perspective of a woman. I have no idea why, but I’m sure it’s nothing to do with the nature of English itself as a language."
Blasim further said, in an interview for Barnes & Noble, that he didn’t write about Americans, and indeed “deliberately ignored stories of American soldiers, the kind that appear in Iraqi and American literature and art, either as heroes, victims, or criminals.”
" I think there's a growing curiosity about Arabic literature amongst English-language readers in the U.S., and I wanted to teach this class in order to give New York readers a community in which to explore that together."
Yet Iraqi literature continues, somehow, to blossom. There are older writers Fadhil al-Azzawi and Muhammad Khudayyir still at work (although the former in exile), and much younger ones, too: Thirtysomething Iraqi Hassan Blassim has been called "perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive."