In need of books to add to your summer reading list? These contemporary Iraqi writers have written stories that will add a whole new depth to your understanding of Iraqi heritage and culture.
1) Luay Hamzah Abbas — Writer and professor Luay Hamzah Abbas writes tales of fiction with an almost poetry-like feel to them. Originally from Basra, Iraq, he received his doctorate at Basra University in 2002 and currently gives lectures in Literary Critique. Many of his short stories have now been translated and published into English and in 2009 he won the Creative Short Story Award from the Iraqi Ministry of Culture in 2009. Read Luay’s short story Closing his Eyes, which was translated into English in 2008, here.
2) Hassan Blassim — A director and screenplay writer originally, Hassan has since been coined as the greatest living writer of Arabic fiction by The Guardian. He studied film at the Academy of Cinematic Arts and then received attention by the Academy Festival Award for the films he wrote: White Clay and Gardenia. A selection of his work can be found on the blog Iraq story, and The Madmen of Freedom Square, which was long-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2010 can be found here.
3) Ahmed Saadawi — Journalist, Baghdad BBC correspondent, short-story writer and poet, Ahmed Saadawi has written three intensely beautiful novels, entitled The Beautiful Country (2004), Indeed he Dreams or Dies (2008) and Frankenstein in Baghdad (2013). 5 years ago, Ahmed was listed on Beirut39 as one of the 39 best Arab authors under age 40. He also won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2014. His work, vivid and descriptive, paints powerful, hyper-realistic, emotional images of life in Iraq.
What are your favorite books by Arab authors? Tell us in the comments below!