San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Part Odyssey of the Persian Gulf and part 1001 Nights in Europe, this debut novel is drawn from the author’s experiences as a political prisoner and years as a refugee. The hero, Rasul Hamid, describes the eight different ways that he fled his home in Iraq and the eight different ways he has failed to find himself a new way home.
This is a stunning piece of storytelling, a novel of unusual scope that brings to life the endless cycle of illegal entry and deportation that defines life for a vulnerable population living on the margins of legitimate society. Translated by Donal McLaughlin, The Village Indian provides what every good translation should: a literary looking glass between two cultures, between two places, between East and West.
Abbas Khider (b. 1973) grew up in Baghdad, where, at 19, he was arrested for “political reasons”. Having served two years in prison, he fled Iraq in 1999, fearing he would be re-arrested. For four years he travelled through Arab and European countries as an illegal refugee, while at the same time writing poetry almost daily. He has lived in Germany since 2000, where he studied literature and philosophy in Munich and Potsdam. After many poetry titles appeared in Arabic, he wrote his first novel, Der falsche Inder (Nautilus, 2008; The Village Indian, Seagull, 2013), in German, for which he received the Alfred Döblin Stipend of the Academy of Arts in Berlin.
Excerpts will be read in both German and English; discussion will be in English. Moderated by Wilfried Eckstein.
Part of Zeitgeist DC, presenting contemporary German literature in translation. www.zeitgeistdc.org
When & Where
The Goethe-Institut Washington organizes and supports cultural events that present German culture abroad and that further intercultural exchange.