Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad, by Alia Mamdouh

First session of the Reading Club organized by Casa Árabe and the Balqís Bookshop in the year 2017.
At this session, to be held on March 22, the work Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad, by Alia Mamdouh, will be read and commented on. The gathering will be directed and moderated by Nieves Paradela.

From the perspective of a nine-year-old girl, the author describes everyday life in a working class neighborhood of Baghdad during the forties and fifties, times of upheaval in terms of the country’s political and social life. The universe of childhood is brought back to us through memory: remembrances which are preserved like old pieces of clothing that nobody uses anymore, amid naphtalene mothballs in an old trunk.

Nieves Paradela is a professor of Arab Studies at the UAM. Her topics of research include the Arabic language and Arabic teaching, contemporary Arab literature and translation, and the intellectual history of the modern Arab world. Amongst other works, she is the author of Manual de Sintaxis Árabe (Arabic Syntax Handbook, UAM, 1998) and El otro laberinto español. Viajeros árabes a España entre el siglo XVII y 1936 (Arab Travelers to Spain from the Seventeenth Century to 1936, Madrid, Siglo XXI, 2005). She has translated works by Lebanese, Palestinian, Egyptian and Tunisian authors.

Book information:
Author: Mamdouh, Alia
Publisher: Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo
Year: 2000
Country: Iraq
Pages: 252
ISBN: 978-84-87198-64-9