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City Lights Books had two books of its own publishing house arrive today. Don’t stop wanting them until they are in your hands.

I'jaam, a book cover

“In this beautiful and brilliant novel, Sinan Antoon expresses the voice of those whose voices were robbed by oppression, stressing the fact that literature can at times be the only framework to protect human experiences from falling into oblivion. I`jaam is an honest and exciting window onto Iraq, written with both love and bitter sarcasm, hope and despair. It does not only illuminate reality in Iraq prior to the American invasion, but also the human experience in its insistence on resisting oppression and injustice.” – Elias Khoury, author of Gate of the Sun

More Here.

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Outcast, a book cover

Outcast is narrated by Haroun Soussan, a Jewish convert to Islam. Soussan’s character is based on a historical figure, Ahmad (Nissim) Soussa, who converted to Islam in the 1930s and whose work ended up being used as propaganda during the era of Saddam Hussein. The narrator is a civil engineer and historian who’s just completed his life’s work, The Jews and History. The book opens with his getting an award from the President (Saddam Hussein) during the period of the Iran-Iraq War. The text we are reading, the novel, is his autobiography, written at the age of seventy, where he explores his own personal and political history, including his relationship with his daughter and his friends, among them a militant communist in political exile in Eastern Europe.

More Here.