To start off the new year, the Literary Odyssey group will be reading Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi. The novel is the winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2014. It was also shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2018.
The novel follows a scavenger named Hadi in US-occupied Baghdad, where he collects human body parts and stitches them into one human corpse. He does so in the hopes of showing the government the violence done to the people and that the dead deserve proper burials. But the corpse goes missing and rumours spread of an appalling-looking criminal who cannot be killed, even by gunshot. Hadi realises he has created a monster who will kill any guilty person in its path – until it begins killing anyone. It is sure to be a gripping, black-humour read about the reality of a city at war.
The Literary Odyssey Reading Group seeks to read books in translation or, really, any well-written novel from the international community. The group meets the last Wednesday* of the month at 6pm. We drink wine and nibble on snacks when we meet, which makes for a lovely evening! We love seeing new faces so just stop by the shop, pick up the book, and join us!
*January’s meeting as been rescheduled from 30 January to 6 February