Women of the Flask

by Selim Matar

Two Iraqi exiles reach Switzerland, having escaped from Saddam’s Iraq. One of them, Adam, has brought with him an old flask found among the possessions of his late father. He polishes it and a fabulously beautiful nubile young woman appears. She has, it emerges, been the lover of his ancestors going back five thousand years. The novel reflects the complexities of the world of today’s Iraqis—an unprecedented history, a grimmer recent past, but with prospects that challenge imagination.