Billiken Bookmarks: Summer Reading Picks From SLU Authors
Looking for that next great read? In this mini-series, some of Saint Louis University’s published authors share their recommendations for memorable summer reading with their fellow staff, faculty and students.
In this edition, Newslink turns the spotlight on a novel by SLU-Madrid's Muhisin Mutlak Rodhan, Ph.D., also known as Muhsin Al-Ramli. The President's Gardens was published to critical acclaim and was a finalist for the 2013 Booker prize for Arabic novels. Al-Ramli is also the author of Dates on My Fingers, Scattered Crumbs and The Wolf of Love and Books.
Muhsin Al-Ramli, Ph.D.
The President's Gardens by Muhsin Al-Ramli (London: MacLehose Press, 2013)
The President’s Gardens shines a light on people largely ignored by the Western media: ordinary Iraqi people. It dramatizes the way in which they suffered under "the President’s” regime, and in the wars with Iran and with America and the West. It is an epic, sweeping novel that has much to say about male friendship, religion, fathers and daughters and what it means to live under a despotic regime. Al-Ramli’s multi-generational portrayal of village life in Iraq has led to companions with Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Muhsin is a born storyteller, and he has already lived nine lives, so he has many stories to tell. His writing shows a deep love and understanding for his fellow man, especially those who are humble and selfless. The President’s Gardens reveals shocking truths about Iraq, but the horror is leavened with humor, poetic insight and an appreciation of fellowship and the simple pleasures of life.
'Billiken Bookmarks' is a mini-feature series that will appear with new reading recommendations from Saint Louis University authors throughout July and occasionally during the academic year. In the final July 'Bookmark,' SLU staff members will share their recommendations for great books as summer winds down. Recommendations for summer reading can be sent to Newslink until July 28.