Wednesday, March 2, 2011

working title: The Last Book of Baghdad

I'm on the second chapter of writing The Last Book of Baghdad (the first chapter is only 3 pages long), and I'm beginning to realize how all the issues I care about are compounding into this new book. The Al Mutanabbi Street bombing is central to the story, as well as the marginalization of women in post-war Iraq. Rampant unemployment definitely drives a lot of the plot, which is an odd driver -- a non-driver almost. And the new novel, like all my other projects, is about words and poetry and books. That's a theme I can live with for a while.

But I'm also considering how a third novel would take shape. If The Last Book of Baghdad is about Salim's mother, Nisreen Abid, and takes place four years after Falcons on the Floor, what might a story look like four years after that? Could the family be reunited somehow? How changed would Salim be after 8 years of war?
Al Mutanabbi Street before the 2007 bombing --
and after.

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