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Abbas Khider


Edited By David N. Coury and Karolin Machtans

Abbas Khider (b. 1973) has established himself as one of the leading literary voices of refugees and marginalised communities in Germany today. Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Khider was at a young age a vocal critic of Saddam Hussein’s regime, during which he was jailed and tortured before fleeing the country. As a refugee, he crossed many countries before arriving in Germany, where he was eventually granted asylum. His own life experiences have served as a departure point for his novels, which similarly explore the refugee experience and the challenges that migrants to Europe face. This volume represents the first collection of essays devoted to Khider’s works to date. The contributions analyse his narrative works and probe important questions relating to political, cultural, and linguistic identity in Germany today. While his works explore what it means to be an immigrant, they do so with a wry sense of humour and an insight into the human condition that also reflect on the political situation in Germany today. His award-winning novels, including Der falsche Inder (2008, The Village Indian, 2013) and Ohrfeige (2016, A Slap in the Face, 2019), which have been translated into English, are discussed in detail. Additionally, an original interview with the author offers insight into his writing process and influences.

«Almost two decades into the US War in Iraq and the change of Saddam Hussein’s regime, this timely and rich collection of essays offers a multi-faceted examination of the works of the Iraqi-German author Abbas Khider, one of the rising stars in German literature today. Contextualizing Khider’s novels and non-fictional works in post-9/11 Islamophobia, seen especially in the wake of arrival of over a million refugees in Germany since 2015, Coury and Machtans have brought together a diverse set of voices that revisit many essential questions concerning the multilingual register of German «national» literature in the twenty-first century through filters of migration, politics, and religion. With an illuminating Introduction framing the thoughtful essays, this volume will be of interest to readers of Khider in German and English, contemporary European literature, as well as scholars of Migration and Refugee Studies. The book would also serve as an excellent sourcebook for teaching Khider.» (B. Venkat Mani (Professor of German, University of Wisconsin-Madison), author of Cosmopolitical Claims and Recoding World Literature)