The next Book Club meeting will be on Thursday 30th March 2017, 6:30-8 pm, in the library at The Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE. Next Banipal book club will discuss Dates on my Fingers by Iraqi author Muhsin al-Ramli, translated by Luke Leafgren, which was longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
“Dark and chilling genius.” The novel was reviewed in Banipal 52 and you can read the review on the Banipal website: http://www.banipal.co.uk/book_reviews/136/dates-on-my-fingers/
Dates on my Fingers is a powerful tale of revenge and bitterness, set between Iraq and Madrid. Its protagonist, Saleem, grows up in a strict and religious family village but later flees to Madrid to start a new life. But when he finds his father Noah in a Madrid nightclub, ten years after his last encounter with him, Saleem is forced to revisit his past and seek answers to some of the questions that haunt him. The novel is a tale of revenge and family honour, exploring the difficulties of escaping one’s home country, even in exile.
Although subtitled An Iraqi novel, much of the action occurs outside Iraq. Banipal described Dates on my Fingers as “first and foremost an exploration of exile in the modern world“, a subject close to the author’s heart. Muhsin al-Ramli is a novelist, poet, translator and academic who writes in both Arabic and Spanish. He was born in Sudayra in northern Iraq in 1967 and went into exile in 1993 after the government’s persecution of his family, including the execution of his brother in 1990. He currently lives in Madrid.
You can read more about the novel here:
The novel is available to buy from Amazon and http://www.alefbookstores.co.uk/ . There is also a copy in the Banipal library. You can also download an invitation to the book club from the library website here: http://www.banipaltrust.org.uk/library/. Please do share this invitation.
The book club is informal and free to attend but spaces are limited so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org