Synopses & Reviews
Widely praised in the Arab world, Sinan Antoon's fourth and most sophisticated novel follows an Iraqi academic, Nameer, who meets an antiquarian bookseller, Wadood, in a Baghdad market. Nameer becomes captivated by Wadood's obsession with cataloging everything that the 2003 invasion of their country destroyed, minute by minute, piece by piece.
Sinan Antoon returns to the Iraq war in a poetic and provocative tribute to reclaiming memory
Widely-celebrated author Sinan Antoon's fourth and most sophisticated novel follows Nameer, a young Iraqi scholar earning his doctorate at Harvard, who is hired by filmmakers to help document the devastation of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. During the excursion, Nameer ventures to al-Mutanabbi street in Baghdad, famed for its bookshops, and encounters Wadood, an eccentric bookseller who is trying to catalogue everything destroyed by war, from objects, buildings, books and manuscripts, flora and fauna, to humans.
Entrusted with the catalogue and obsessed with Wadood's project, Nameer finds life in New York movingly intertwined with fragments from his homeland's past and its present--destroyed letters, verses, epigraphs, and anecdotes--in this stylistically ambitious panorama of the wreckage of war and the power of memory.