Found in Translation Book Club: "Frankenstein in Baghdad" by Ahmed Saadawi

A club where we dive into fresh English translations of stand-out fiction from around the world.

This month's book club pick is Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi, translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright.

From the rubble-strewn streets of U.S.-occupied Baghdad, Hadi--a scavenger and an oddball fixture at a local café--collects human body parts and stitches them together to create a corpse. His goal, he claims, is for the government to recognize the parts as people and to give them proper burial. But when the corpse goes missing, a wave of eerie murders sweeps the city, and reports stream in of a horrendous-looking criminal who, though shot, cannot be killed. Hadi soon realizes he's created a monster, one that needs human flesh to survive--first from the guilty, and then from anyone in its path. A prizewinning novel by "Baghdad's new literary star" (The New York Times), Frankenstein in Baghdad captures with white-knuckle horror and black humor the surreal reality of contemporary Iraq.

*Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize*

"In the 200 years since Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, her monster has turned up in countless variations--but few of them have been as wild or politically pointed as the monster in Ahmed Saadawi's Frankenstein in Baghdad." --Gregory Cowles, The New York Times

"What do you get if you cross the spiritualism of Lincoln in the Bardo with the sci-fi-cum-action-movie oomph of The Terminator? Possibly something resembling Frankenstein in Baghdad. . . . It's as much of a crossbreed as its ghoulish hero--part thriller, part horror, part social commentary. . . . Saadawi . . . captures the atmosphere of war-torn Baghdad with the swiftest of penstrokes, and picks out details that make the reader feel, and even taste, the aftermath of the explosions that pepper the book." -- Financial Times

Ahmed Saadawi is an Iraqi novelist, poet, screenwriter, and documentary filmmaker. He is the first Iraqi to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction; he won in 2014 for Frankenstein in Baghdad, which also won France's Grand Prize for Fantasy. In 2010 he was selected for Beirut39, as one of the 39 best Arab authors under the age of 39. He was born in 1973 in Baghdad, where he still lives. 

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Event date: 
Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647
Frankenstein in Baghdad: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143128793
Availability: Out of stock, usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - January 23rd, 2018