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Hasan Blasim: Tuesday 11 December

‘The best writer of Arabic fiction alive’ comes to the International Anthony Burgess Foundation.

Published on December 4th 2012.

Hasan Blasim: Tuesday 11 December

'IRAQ's story must still be told, and we need Iraqi voices like Blasim's to tell it,' says Intelligent Life. 'Blasim pitches everyday horror into something almost gothic... his taste for the surreal can be Gogol-like,’ says The Independent. 

'Perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive...' says The Guardian. 

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.

Hasan Blasim is making quite a splash in the literary world. 

His latest collection of stories is called The Iraqi Christ. This features a soldier with the ability to predict the future who finds himself blackmailed by an insurgent into the ultimate act of terror. There’s a deviser of crosswords survives a car-bomb attack, only to discover he is now haunted by one of its victims. Meanwhile 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 storytelling forged in the crucible of war, and just as shocking. 

Blasim will be at International Anthony Burgess Foundation is at Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY. 7pm. Free. More information here

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