We’re not deeply knowledgeable about the contemporary Iraqi writing scene, but we’re willing, even eager, to learn about it, and this anthology is a fine primer. Its selections are various, including work by Christians, Jews, Muslims, and women, some currently abroad, and all introduced with helpful biographical sketches. But a hollowed-out sadness unites the stories—especially vis-à-vis the ravaged environments the characters tend to inhabit—that puts us in mind of the haunting, depopulated portraits of Giorgio de Chirico.
Contemporary Iraqi Fiction
Edited and translated by Shakir Mustafa
Syracuse University Press