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The Corpse Exhibition : And Other Stories of Iraq
by Hassan Blasim and Jonathan Wright


Overview - A blistering debut that does for the Iraqi perspective on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan what Phil Klay's Redeployment does for the American perspective
" A] wonderful collection." --George Saunders, The New York Times Book Review
The first major literary work about the Iraq War from an Iraqi perspective--by an explosive new voice hailed as "perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive" ( The Guardian )-- The Corpse Exhibition shows us the war as we have never seen it before.
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More About The Corpse Exhibition by Hassan Blasim; Jonathan Wright
 
 
 
Overview
A blistering debut that does for the Iraqi perspective on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan what Phil Klay's Redeployment does for the American perspective
" A] wonderful collection." --George Saunders, The New York Times Book Review
The first major literary work about the Iraq War from an Iraqi perspective--by an explosive new voice hailed as "perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive" (The Guardian)--The Corpse Exhibition shows us the war as we have never seen it before. Here is a world not only of soldiers and assassins, hostages and car bombers, refugees and terrorists, but also of madmen and prophets, angels and djinni, sorcerers and spirits.
Blending shocking realism with flights of fantasy, The Corpse Exhibition offers us a pageant of horrors, as haunting as the photos of Abu Ghraib and as difficult to look away from, but shot through with a gallows humor that yields an unflinching comedy of the macabre. Gripping and hallucinatory, this is a new kind of storytelling forged in the crucible of war.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780143123262
  • ISBN-10: 0143123262
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Publish Date: February 2014
  • Page Count: 196
  • Reading Level: Ages 18-UP


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-12-16
  • Reviewer: Staff

Iraq came into our recent consciousness through war, supplanting the magic carpets and genies of folk tales, but Blasim, a filmmaker, poet, and fiction writer, who, persecuted under Saddam Hussein, fled Baghdad in 1998, destroys all preconceptions about his homeland and the effects of dictatorship, war, and occupation in this stunningly powerful collection. The stories are brutal, vulgar, imaginative, and unerringly captivating. In the title story, a man is interviewed for a job as an assassin, with the caveat that he’s expected to display the corpses of his victims in artistic and interesting ways. In “The Killers and the Compass,” a young boy follows his elder “giant brother,” Abu Hadid, around their “sodden neighborhood” of muddy lanes as he terrorizes the neighbors and extorts favors. The corpse of a journalist tells his story in “An Army Newspaper”: “There’s no need to kick him in the balls for him to tell the story honestly and impartially, because the dead are usually honest, even the bastards among them.” The surreal continues in “The Madman of Freedom Square,” in which the statues of “the blonds,” two young men who had mysteriously appeared in the wretched Baghdad neighborhood called the Darkness District and transformed the inhabitants’ lives, are threatened with destruction by the new government’s army. Daniel is “The Iraqi Christ” and has premonitions: “A constant itching in Daniel’s crotch foretold that an American helicopter would crash...” Cars explode, women and boys are beaten and raped, bodies are inhabited by spirits, refugees tell lies, yet none of the horror is gratuitous; every story ends with a shock, and none of them falter. A searing, original portrait of Iraq and the universal fallout of war. (Feb.)

 
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