The Village Indian
Translated by Donal McLaughlin
5 x 8 inches, 170pp. August 2013
ISBN : 9780857421012
Rs 495.00 (HB)
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. Our 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.
From Iraq via Northern Africa through Europe and back again, Abbas Khider deftly blends the tragic with the comic, and the grotesque with the ordinary, in order to tell the story of suffering the real and brutal dangers of life as a refugee—and to remember the haunting faces of those who did not survive the journey. 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, a political prisoner in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, got a German asylum in 2000 and then studied philosophy and literature. He was awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Förderpreis in 2010 and the Hilde Domin Prize for literature in exile in 2013.
Donal McLaughlin is author of An Allergic Reaction to national Anthems and Other Stories (2009) and has specialized in translating Swiss fiction. Known for the stage version of The Reader (with Chris Dilan, 2000) and Shards (2003), the bilingual edition of the poems of Stella Rotenberg, he has also translated Widmer's My Mother's Lover (2001), My Father's Book (2012, nominated for the Best Translated Book Award 2012) and On Life, Death, and This and That of the Rest (2013), all available from Seagull Books.