Alwan — “An Iraqi in Paris” — Book Signing

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Date/Time: 24/05/2006 12:00 am

Alwan for the Arts Presents:
“An Iraqi in Paris”
Book Reading/Signing with Iraqi Writer Samuel Shimon
(in Arabic)
Wednesday, May 24th, 7:30 pm
About the Book:
A young Iraqi leaves home to become a Hollywood film-maker, but finds
himself jailed, tortured, and thrown out of the first three countries
on his voyage, in Syria, in East Beirut and in Jordan. Seeking refuge
with the Palestinians in west Beirut, he finds his way to Hollywood
barred. Later, living on the streets of Paris as a homeless refugee
and writer, he dreams of making a film about his father, the deaf
dumb Assyrian baker who loves the young Queen of England possibly
starring Robert de Niro. Samuel Shimon’s first novel is a riveting
tale of innocence and dreams, misery and humor, in which Arabic and
Assyrian languages meet Hollywood and the films of John Ford in the
streets of Paris and Iraq.
” one of the gems of Arabic autobiographical writings”
al-Hayat (London)
“unique in Arabic literature.”
as-Safir (Beirut)
“A cunningly iconoclastic storyteller…with a keen cinematographic
and unflinching eye for detail…a relentless raconteur”,
Anton Shammas.
“Forgiving and powerful book”
Times Literary Supplement
“. . . startlingly funny, rude but touching novel-cum-autobiography
about days of sex and movies, politics and poverty, on the 1980s Left
Bank. It’s an Arabic answer to Miller’s Tropic of Cancer –
occasionally shocking; always witty and humane.
The Independent
SAMUEL SHIMON is an Iraqi poet, novelist and journalist. Born into an
Assyrian family in Al-Habbaniyah, Iraq in 1956, he left his country in
1979, and has since lived in Damascus, Amman, Beirut, Nicosia, Aden,
Cairo, Tunis, and Paris finally residing in London. He began writing
autobiographical short stories in 1979 and poetry in 1985, publishing
in Arab newspapers and magazine. Since 1998, he has been the assistant
editor of Banipal magazine, which he co-founded with its editor
Margaret Obank. He is the founder and editor of the most popular
Arabic literature website www.kikah.com In 2005, his autobiographical
novel An Iraqi in Paris was published in English translation. The
Arabic version was published by Dar al-Jamal in Germany. Both have
received glowing reviews in the internationalpress.
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