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Contemporary Iraqi Fiction: An Anthology

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The first anthology of its kind in the West, Contemporary Iraqi Fiction gathers work from sixteen Iraqi writers, all translated from Arabic into English. Shedding a bright light on the rich diversity of Iraqi experience, Shakir Mustafa has included selections by Iraqi women, Iraqi Jews now living in Israel, and Christians and Muslims living both in Iraq and abroad.


Hardcover, 202 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Syracuse University Press
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One has to approach a literary tradition so dramatically different--and older--as the Arabic one judiciously. We tend to view Arab culture (when we look at it at all) through the prism of the West's preconceptions--which is to say, homogeneous and ossified, if not hostile. Shakir Mustafa's anthology eloquently rebuts those presumptions. It is diverse, representing Iraqis both at home and in exile, and including a fair number of women, and Jewish and Kurdish writers. The themes range from fantasy ...more
I really liked this book very much and I would recommend it to anyone, even if they're not interested in Iraqi fiction in particular. The introductions to each author and their stories are great because you get to know a little bit about them and how, though their common home is Iraq, their various experiences and histories have influenced how they remember and represent Iraq in their own stories. I also really appreciate how Shakir has selected excerpts from a varied range of authors- he has in ...more
Some really lovely stuff here. None of the stories are long, many of them are heartbreakingly good. There's a very short one, "Morning Exercises" by Mahdi Isa al-Saqr, which I can't get out of my head. About a couple, their young son, and the moments immediately surrounding a bombing in their city. It's simple, and not gruesome, which somehow makes it more haunting.
I never realized that Persian/Iraqi fiction was so "magical-realistic". If you like short stories, love "magical-realism" (note: some experts say there is no such thing), and want to learn more about the modern Iraqi struggle through magnificent prose-- PLEASE READ!
When it's good, it's really good. Made me feel a little disoriented; things looked bright and grainy after reading the best of these stories, which I like. I think this anthology is a good addition to any world lit course.
A collection of short stories that shows strength and depth in Iraqi writing from the 1980s to the 2000s, all translated by Shakir Mustafa. Writers worth a second look include Luftiyya al-Dulaimi and Shmuel Moreh.
A powerful collection, exhibiting the range and variety of Iraqi authors and their literary approaches and life perspectives.
I liked what I read of this but returned it to the library unfinished and will likely try again another time.
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