Thirsty River

by Rodaan Al Galidi

Thirsty River has a strong fairytale flavour, along with a keen sense of humour. Village life, and the double-think needed to live under the Party’s rule, add warmth and comedy but this is no pretty princess story. The cruelties of war and Saddam Hussain’s regime aren’t the only real-world elements delivering the dark side to this sprawling family tale.


On the same day that Saddam Hussein came to power, Adam, the last child of Kosjer and Wasile, was born asleep. The midwife who brought him into the world thought that he was dead ....

Then, suddenly he moved his tiny hands. The Bird family gathered around and looked at him. 'He’s dead!' they all said at the same time.

'He’s sleeping,' said Mira, his sister.
Translated by Luzette Strauss


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The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon
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