At its core, Frankenstein in Baghdad is a novel about the personal and collective trauma of war and the many afterlives of violence. A reimagining of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this novel joins Hassan Blasim’s The Corpse Exhibition and Other Stories of Iraq and The Corpse Washer by Sinan Antoon as the most recent additions to the body of Iraqi literature depicting the Iraq War through a supernatural lens. Winner of the 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, Ahmed Saadawi’s darkly comic fable is a fusion of the surreal, the gothic and bleak reality.
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'Only in Britain, perhaps, could spy chiefs – conventionally viewed as masters of subterfuge – be so highly regarded as ethical guides.'
In this month's Bookends, @AdamCSDouglas looks at the curious life of Henry Labouchere: a friend of Bram Stoker, 'loose cannon', and architect of the law that outlawed homosexual activity in Britain.
'We have all twenty-nine of her Barsetshire novels, and whenever a certain longing reaches critical mass we read all twenty-nine again, straight through.'
Patricia T O'Conner on her love for Angela Thirkell. (£)