Review: I’jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody

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I’jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody
Sinan Antoon

City Lights Publishers
Street: 06.15

I’jaam, a fictional manuscript, transports the reader back to Saddam’s Iraq. The narrator of the story is a young college student who despises his country’s government and is eventually taken into custody by them. His time spent in Iraqi prison is a horrifying one. His stories move from prison life, to memories of his old life and finally to bizarre and terrifying hallucinations. I’jaam personalizes the experience of an Iraqi prisoner under the reign of Saddam. It makes a story that we’ve read a million times, a story that we can relate to on a human level. Antoon’s well-crafted prose gives light to an important story of human struggle that is often left untouched. –Jeanette Moses