"But for me, it’s not necessary to put my hand in the fire to express its pain. What hurts my people hurts me."
"I had learned from early childhood that Mosul was a city with two springs because autumn was like a second spring."
One thing is bothering me. The narrator’s diction is quite high---a working-class girl from Detroit says, "I pulled into the spacious parking lot in front of Wal-Mart…." Fine. Something has elevated this character, putting her outside of ordinary American speech. I haven’t read so far that I can see the full effects, but I can appreciate the decision.
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."