The Sirens of Baghdad: Book summary and reviews of The Sirens of Baghdad by Yasmina Khadra

The Sirens of Baghdad

A Novel

By Yasmina Khadra

The Sirens of Baghdad
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  • Published in USA  May 2007,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

Forced to leave the University of Baghdad when the Americans invade, a young man returns to his village where he witnesses three horrifying events that transform him. First, American soldiers at a checkpoint kill the sweet and beloved “village idiot.” Several days later, an American plane bombs a wedding on the outskirts of the village. The most devastating incident takes place in his own home, when soldiers looking for terrorists humiliate his father in full view of the terrified family. Consumed by the desire to avenge this unspeakable act, the young man goes to Baghdad to join the resistance.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Despite the essential bleakness of the book's themes, Khadra manages to inject a note of hope toward the end, without betraying his powerful message of how the occupation of Iraq has brutalized both the Iraqis and the Americans." - PW.

"[I]t dramatically embodies the points about cultural clash ...that is, it shows why crystal-clearly." - Booklist.

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Author Information

Yasmina Khadra Author Biography

Yasmina Khadra is the pseudonym of the former Algerian army officer Mohammed Moulessehoul.

Moulessehoul, an officer in the Algerian army, adopted a woman's pseudonym to avoid military censorship. Despite the publication of many successful novels in Algeria, Moulessehoul only revealed his true identity in 2001 after leaving the army and going into exile and seclusion in France. Anonymity was the only way for him to survive and avoid censorship during the Algerian Civil War. In 2004, Newsweek acclaimed him as "one of the rare writers capable of giving a meaning to the violence in Algeria today."

His novel set in Afghanistan under the Taliban, The Swallows of Kabul was shortlisted for the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The Attack won the Prix des libraires...

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