Inaam Kachachi: ‘We Are Experiencing a True Upsurge in Iraqi Fiction’


Al-Mustafa Najjar continues with his interviews of authors shortlisted for the 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, discussing Inaam Kachachi’s novel  Tashari  with its author:

By Al-Mustafa Najjar

downloadIronically, Iraqi fiction has been flourishing ever since the US army invaded Baghdad in 2003. Several prominent Mesopotamian writers have emerged in the Arabic fiction arena, penning daring texts that seek to deconstruct the Iraqi identity during this critical phase in the country’s history.

During the post-2003 Iraqi novel boom, a new female literary voice has emerged: that of Inaam Kachachi. The Paris-based Iraqi writer started her literary career with Heart Springs (2005) and American Granddaughter (2008), which was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) in 2009 and translated into French, English, and Chinese.

Kachachi’s third and most recent novel, Tashari (2013), which has also been shortlisted for this year’s IPAF award, tells the story of an Iraqi…

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‘I Would Like To Be Radwa Ashour’


Translator Barbara Romaine was unable to make the March 22-23 conference on Radwa Ashour and her writing. She presents her tribute to a novelist of “exceptional humanity” here:

By Barbara Romaine

1959898_537536816361852_493279465_nI couldn’t tell you the date — some time in the spring of 1993 would be the best guess I could make.  I was at Dar el-Hilal, which was about a twenty-minute walk along Kasr el-Aini from the apartment where I lived during my year at the AUC.  I had gone to Dar el-Hilal simply to browse, to see what might be appealing, and for the pleasure of being completely surrounded by nothing but books for a little while. I picked up titles at random and looked them over, occasionally tucking one under my arm to purchase on my way out.  At one point, in a stack next to a window with bright sunlight streaming in (or that is…

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