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  • Feb 20, 2024

The Last Pomegranate Tree: A Conversation with Kurdish Novelist Bachtyar Ali

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Time: 5:30pm-7pm.

Location: In-person (SOAS University).

'"After being held in a desert prison for 21 years, a Peshmerga fighter in Iraq desperately searches for his son, setting off on a quest guided by memory and myth in this imaginative novel...." (New York Times).

Politics has at least two faces in Bachtyar Ali’s works. While his characters are in a constant search to prove their humanity, politics often appears as a barrier in that search. Why does their salvation seem to fall beyond politics? Yet another face is the politics of literature: Kurdish language has lived on the margins of the more dominant languages in the Middle East for centuries.

To celebrate the English publication of The Last Pomegranate Tree by acclaimed Iraqi Kurdish novelist, Bachtyar Ali (winner of Nelly Sachs Prize 2017 & Hilde-Domin Prize of the City of Heidelberg 2023), the SOAS Middle East Institute is delighted to host an evening with Bachtyar Ali and his translator Kareem Abdulrahman, who will be in discussion with Will Forrester and Dara Salam.

They will be discussing contemporary Kurdish fiction and Ali’s place within the wider Kurdish literature, as well as the significance of translating his novels into English.'

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