Author Profile: Ahmed Saadawi

Author Profile: Ahmed Saadawi is an Iraqi novelist, screenwriter, poet and documentary film maker.

Name: Ahmed Saadwi

Timeline:

2000 –Anniversary of Bad Songs (poetry)

2004 – The Beautiful Country (novel)

2008 – Indeed He Dreams or Plays or Dies (novel)

2013 – Frankenstein in Baghdad (novel)

2018 – Banipal 61 a Journal in Iraqi Fiction

Background: Ahmed Saadawi is born in May 1973, in Baghdad, Iraq.  He is 47 years old. He resides and works in Baghdad.

Genre: According to Ahmed Saadwi, ‘The Job of the Writer is to Give a Voice to Unknown People’. The novel Frankenstein in Baghdad, he crafted from the horrific aftermath in Baghdad, one of the most unnecessary and destructive wars in modern history. His memorable descriptions are not of any particular character, but of Baghdad city itself.

Literary Contributions: Ahmed Saadawi has won the 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for Frankenstein in Baghdad. The novel has also been shortlisted for the International Man Booker Prize. He has been nominated for the International Booker Prize as well.

In the year 2010, Ahmed Saadawi was selected as one of the 39 best Arab authors below 39 years of age for the Beirut 39 project.

Unique Stylistic Features: In Frankenstein in Baghdad, a horror fantasy meets an absurdist mortality fable. In the after-effects of the United States invasion of Iraq, a victim of sectarian violence is brought back to life. An apparently endless casual chain of tribalism, corruption and folly is unwound by Ahmed Saadawi in Frankenstein in Baghdad.

In 2006, when Ahmed Saadwi was working as a reporter for the BBC’s Arabic service, he was covering a war that was killing his people and tearing apart his homeland. The morgue was filled not with just dead bodies but many body parts. The horrific setting at the morgue gave birth to Ahmed Saadwi’s part-sci-fi, part fantasy novel Frankenstein in Baghdad.

The author’s main aim was to make the reader question the senselessness of the war, the U.S. invasion and its lingering and disastrous consequences, in Baghdad. The novel was published in Arabic in the year 2013. Ahmed Saadwi popularity in his home country was elevated to celebrity status with this visceral novel, Frankenstein in Baghdad.

In the first issue of 2018 of the book, Banipal 61 a Journal in Iraqi Fiction focuses on an unexpected journey in Iraqi fiction with chapters and articles taken from selected novels. Right from the time invasion of Iraq took place in 2003, and Saddam Hussein was overthrown, a revolution in literature has been created by the Iraqis, in which almost 600 novels have been written.

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