US soldiers from the 2nd Battalion the 12th Cavalry come under fire in a street in the Ghazaliya district of Baghdad. Jan 2007. Picture By Richard Mills/The Times
By ADRIAN TAHOURDIN
For anyone wanting to get a sense of what life might be like in modern-day Baghdad, I can wholeheartedly recommend Sinan Antoon’s novel The Corpse Washer (Margellos/Yale). The book was first published in Arabic (Beirut) in 2010 and is now available in an excellent translation by the author himself.
I say “excellent” but I’m not really in a position to judge, not being able to read Arabic. But I do know that it reads very well in the English version and that the four judges of the annual Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize deemed it the best translation from Arabic for 2014. (The translator/author picks up a cheque for £3,000.)