Item description for Cell Block Five (Modern Arabic Literature) by Fadhil Al-azzawi...
Being plucked from a Baghdad caf and deposited in a cell block for political prisoners is a wakeup call for Aziz, the novel's hero and narrator, a young man who has been living on automatic pilot as if he were a guest visiting his own life and he is finally forced to come to terms with the flawed world we inhabit and shape. Although never charged with any offense, he must adjust to a lengthy stay in prison, where he is befriended by Salam the yard boss, Mun`im an idealistic university student with a beautiful sister named Salwa, Yusuf an idealist dispatched to the 'Swamp,' Salman an anarchist schoolteacher, and Mustafa an aged farmer who dreams of an alternative society. While these imprisoned revolutionaries teach Aziz to dream that an ideal city with his name on it may lie just over the horizon, the police supervisor encourages him to think of a simple crime to which he can confess so he can be charged and eventually released.
Based on the author's own incarceration in Iraq, Cell Block Five is a clear-headed, good-humored tribute to the prison's men both the inmates and the guards and an indictment of man's gratuitous inhumanity to man, pointing out that the transition from abused to abuser, tortured to torturer, can be an easy one. Written in 1971 and published outside Iraq in 1972, Cell Block Five the first Iraqi prison novel was later made into a feature film in Syria. Drawing the reader subtly into the political section of an Iraqi prison, this compelling story easily transcends cultural boundaries.
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Studio: American University in Cairo Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.2" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2008
Publisher American University in Cairo Press
ISBN 9774161424 ISBN13 9789774161421
Availability 0 units.
More About Fadhil Al-azzawi
Fadhil al-Azzawi is the author of many volumes of poetry, novels, and criticism. A member of the avant-garde Kirkuk Group of poets during the 1960s, he left Iraq in 1977, after being imprisoned for three years by the Baath regime for his political activities. He lives in Germany.
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International fiction that rings true nearly forty years later Feb 10, 2009
The Koran has little description of hell, but some of its believers are spared from experiencing it. "Cell Block Five" is an English translation of the novel. First written in 1971, it's heralded as the first novel exploring the Iraqi prisons, following Aziz, a man ripped from life and is held for being a political prisoner. Touching on human nature's tendency towards cruelty and slightly upbeat all the same, "Cell Block Five" is international fiction that rings true nearly forty years later.