Angel of the Southtranslated by Imke Ahlf-Wien
- date of publication: 07.03.2011
- 544 Pages
- Hanser Verlag
- ISBN 978-3-446-23643-1
- Deutschland: 24,90 €
- Österreich: 25,60 €
After twenty-three years of exile, Harun returns to his hometown. He wanders amongst the ruins left by the Iraqi war on a search for his own past, which is preserved only in forgotten history. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Southern Iraqi town of Amaria is occupied by the British - for the second time since the First World War. In what the locals call the 'English Cemetery', Harun comes across an inscription he had engraved as a child: the 'Angel of the South'. This is the name he gave to the idol of his youth - a Jewish woman who to him embodied the 'Golden Age of Amaria', when all the diverse ethnic and religious groups coexisted in peace. She became a victim of the pan-Arabic movement's anti-Semitism in the sixties and seventies, was forced to give up her relationship with a Muslim poet, and later on both she and her husband were persecuted. In this and countless other stories there is betrayal, war and dictatorship, but also longing and hope, evoking the dramatic past of a oncemulticultural town.
Najem Wali's superbly researched novel of many voices has a fairytalelike quality - it not only tells the story of a love odyssey, but brings to light fascinating stories that are in danger of falling into oblivion.