Humiliated in war by the West, terrorized by their own government, reduced to paupers, unwelcome anywhere in the world, the Arabs of Iraq are falling to pieces. It is not simply that with their money and savings destroyed and their goods embargoed, their living standards have fallen to the level of at least thirty years ago. In their own eyes, as Iraqis, and above all as Arabs, they have been reduced to nothing. I have never seen a people so demoralized. Everybody I met, even the most repellent Ba’athi thug and extortionist, felt himself a victim.
Top Reads of 2019
Her Left Hand, The Darkness
Alison Smith on the week she spent with Ursula K. Le Guin.
Charlie Parker Plays Bossa Nova
This surreal tale from Haruki Murakami circles a Charlie Parker album that never existed. Translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel.
A monastic community persists after a ‘great chaos and collapse’ in this story by the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, Olga Tokarczuk. Translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft
Two poems from Rebecca Tamás’ collection WITCH.
On High Heels and Lotus Feet
Summer Brennan on high heels, foot-binding, and our ongoing performances of gender.