The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize har fått sin förste arabiska vinnare. Och vilken vinnare: ”Hassan Blasims The Iraqi Christ (Comma Press), translated by Jonathan Wright, is a collection of 14 short stories set largely in the blood-stained and hope-drained aftermath of the 2003 invasion and occupation.”
Hassan Blasim jämförs med Irvine Welsh: ”Think Irvine Welsh in post-war and post-Saddam Baghdad, with the shades of Kafka and Burroughs also stalking these sad streets. Often surreal in style and savage in detail, but always planted in heart-breaking reality, these 14 stories depict a pitiless era with searing compassion, pitch-black humour and a sort of visionary yearning for a more fully human life. Jonathan Wright’s translations convey all their outrage, their sorrow, their ribald merriment and blistering imaginative vitality.”
”The second of Blasims story collections after The Madman of Freedom Square (2009), The Iraqi Christ deserves to take its place as a modern classic of post-war witness, elegy and revolt.” Av Guardian har Hassan Blasim kallats den bästa författare den arabiska litteraturen har att erbjuda.
Mer fakta om Blasim: ”Born in 1973 in Baghdad, Blasim studied at the city’s film school. As a screenwriter and director, he won awards for Gardenia and White Clay. However, in 1998 he quit Saddam’s capital for Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region since the first Gulf War of 1990-1991. There he continued to direct but under a pseudonym, since his family still lived in Baghdad. In 2004, he moved to Finland. In Arabic, many of his stories first appeared online. ‘Whenever my publisher participated in a book fair in an Arab country, the book was forbidden to be displayed,’ he has said. The Madman of Freedom Square was published in an edited version in Lebanon in 2012, but soon fell foul of the censors in Jordan.”
Vi tycker att det här är lite extra kul, eftersom vi fick The Iraqi Christ av Comma Press för bara ett par dagar sedan, och som om inte det vore nog så fick vi David Constantines Tea at the Midland and other stories, som också har erhållit en del priser och ska vara helt fantastiska. I helgen blir det därmed en hel del novelläsning.