Bakhtiyar Ali: Duwahamîn Henarî Dunya (The Last Pomegranate Tree In The World)

The latest addition to my website is Bakhtiyar Ali‘s Henarî Dunya (The Last Pomegranate Tree In The World). This is another superb novel from Bakhtiyar Ali telling the story of Muzafar-i Subhdam who had been captured while fighting Saddam Hussein and kept imprisoned in a remote desert prison for 21 years, unaware that Saddam has fallen and that his commander, Yaqub-i Snawbar, has kept him there. He is moved to what had been one of Saddam’s fabulous desert palaces and Yaqub-i Snawbar visits him, telling him that he must stay there as he is not able to face the reality of freedom. However, he wants to see his son, Saryas-i Subhdam, only a few days old when he left. Meanwhile we meet two sisters who have vowed to remain unmarried, Muhammad the Glass-Hearted and Saryas-i Subhdam, who may or may not be the Saryas-i Subhdam. The sisters and two young men all know another and their story is equally complicated, made more complicated when Muzafar does escape and finds not only has the world changed but that his search for his son is going to be more difficult than he thought. Mixing magic realism and fantasy, with the grim reality of war, Ali tells a superb and complex story.

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