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'Perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive...' --The Guardian
'Blasim's vivid prose reflects the way the fantastic and the ordinary collapse into a Kafkaesque jumble during urban conflict.' --The Financial Times
'An arrestingly vivid picture of the privation and the terrors of life in Iraq.' --Herald Scotland
WINNER of the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
A soldier with the ability to predict the future finds himself blackmailed by an insurgent into the ultimate act of terror...
Fleeing a robbery, a Baghdad shopkeeper falls into a deep hole, at the bottom of which sits a djinni and the corpse of a soldier from a completely different war...
From legends of the desert to horrors of the forest, Blasim s stories blend the fantastic with the everyday, the surreal with the all-too-real. Taking his cues from Kafka, his prose shines a dazzling light into the dark absurdities of Iraq s recent past and the torments of its countless refugees. The subject of this, his second collection, is primarily trauma and the curious strategies human beings adopt to process it (including, of course, fiction). The result is a masterclass in metaphor- a new kind of story-telling, forged in the crucible of war, and just as shocking.
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