Frankenstein in Baghdad
Winner of the Gold Tentacle Award at the Kitschies 2019
Winner of Le Grand Prix de L’Imaginaire 2017
Winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2014
Shortlisted for the Man Book International Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize
From a country that has experienced recent decades through a fog of upheaval and violence comes a spellbinding contemporary novel exploring the reality of violence in Iraq and the world at large today by an ascending literary star in Iraqi voices and winner of the IPAF 2014.
Rag-and-bone-man, Hadi al-Attag lives in a populous district of Baghdad. In the spring of 2005, angered by the indifference shown to the accumulating victims of bombings, he takes the body parts of the dead and sews them together to create a new body. When a displaced soul enters the body, a new being comes to life; a being Hadi calls, ‘the-Whatsitsname’; the authorities name it ‘Criminal X’ and others refer to it as ‘Frankenstein’.
Thus, the vengeful Frankenstein begins a campaign against those who killed all the people of its component parts, before making the grim realisation that it requires fresh flesh in order to survive. The novel is told through the interconnected stories of Frankenstein, General Surur Majid of the Department of Investigation, and a young journalist, Mahmoud al-Sawadi, who gets the chance to interview Frankenstein.
Tinged with dark humour and fantasy, Frankenstein in Baghdad offers a panoramic view of a city where people live in fear of the unknown, unable to act in solidarity, haunted by the unknown identity of the criminal who targets them all.