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.”Continue Reading

There are two stories by Luay Hamza Abbas in Banipal 37: Iraqi Authors, “The Pictures” and “Ali the Red,” and I think they’re well worth discussing. The prose—translated by the lovely, brilliant Maia Tabet*—is often striking, as in the opening to “The Pictures”: There’s a kind of friend whose presenceContinue Reading