A Slap in the Face
Translated by Simon Pare
5 x 8 inches, 192pp. October 2018
ISBN : 9780857425355
Rs 499.00 (HB)
Shot through with striking scenes and an indomitable wit, A Slap in the Face is a gripping story of an Iraqi refugee's attempt to negotiate the labyrinth of German bureaucracy and realize his dreams in a new country.
One day, Karim storms into his caseworker's office at the immigration agency and forces her at long last to listen to his story. He reveals his secret reasons for leaving Iraq and how he ended up lost in Bavaria, and describes his battles with prejudice and regulations as he is shunted from one hostel to another on his quest to make a new life for himself. Now, with Saddam defeated, his right to asylum has been revoked and he must start from scratch again.
Abbas Khider achieves the remarkable feat of portraying the asylum seeker's torment, full of frustration and despair, with a warmth and humour that will enrapture and enrage the reader.
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.
Simon Pare is a translator from the French and German who lives in Paris. His recent translations include the The Panama Papers and Atlas of an Anxious Man.