ONE OF THE GUARDIAN’S NON-FICTION BOOKS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2023
‘Exquisite… a genuine melancholy masterpiece’ William Dalrymple, author of The Anarchy
‘A powerful, unforgettable book’ Nadifa Mohamed, author of The Fortune Men
A work of great beauty and tragedy from a gifted storyteller and reporter. Published on the twentieth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, it places the experience of ordinary civilians at its heart.
This is the story of a people who once lived under the rule of a megalomaniac leader who shaped the state in his own image. Then one day, after yet another war, a foreign army invaded, toppled the leader, destroyed the state, and proceeded to invent a new country. This is the story of a people who watched with horror as their world fragmented into a hundred different cities, as walls rose between them and bodies piled in the streets. From the American invasion to the Arab Spring, ISIS and beyond, A Stranger in Your Own City offers a remarkable de-centring of the West in the history and contemporary situation of the region. What comes to the fore is the effect on the ground: the human cost, the shifting allegiances, the generational change.
‘Ghaith Abdul-Ahad is a journalistic marvel and a terrible joy as a writer, never wearying of the world as he maps its cruelties. Eloquent and compassionate, vulnerable, scathing and funny’ James Meek, author of To Calais, in Ordinary Time
‘A stunning piece of emotional and psychological topography, charting the many clashing lives of pre- and post-invasion Iraq, a book that’s at once difficult to read and impossible to put down’ Omar El Akkad, author of What Strange Paradise