Saturday, February 23, 2013

I'jaam-Sinān Antūn

I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody-Sinān Antūn

the facts
satisfaction: up
pages: 97
gender: M
nationality: Iraq
year: 2007
Novella

"An inventory of the General Security headquarters in central Baghdad reveals an obscure manuscript. Written by a young man in detention, the prose moves from prison life, to adolescent memories, to frightening hallucinations, and what emerges is a portrait of life in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq."

This is such a short book and it's so, so, so very sad. Written by a jailbound narrator there is no sense of time with the repeating line “I awoke to find myself here”. With no time and little hope the novel becomes dreamlike and eerily ethereal. There's some hope but it's fairly illusory (this was in a governmental inventory...). There's a lot of insight into how oppression acts upon the individual.

I don't really know what else to say but I really wanted to 'review' this book because I just want to recommend it to people! It's a sad book about a country that's unfortunately underrepresented in the reading list of most Americans.


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