THE PALACE OF THE WRETCHED (Hanser Verlag 2020) is the story of a boy from the slums of Baghdad – up to the moment when his life falls apart forever. A personal, vivid novel filled with unforgettable characters. Both existential and immediate, as only Abbas Khider is able to spin a yarn. We are absolutely thrilled that his Norwegian audience will get a chance to enjoy the translation by Merete Franz at Forlag Mangschou!

Shams Hussein is an ordinary boy with ordinary dreams. Hoping for a more peaceful life, his parents move with him and his sister from the south of the country to Baghdad. Soon they are living in the “Tin Quarter” next to a huge garbage mountain. These are the years of the economic embargo against the country under Saddam Hussein. The quest for a better future quickly turns into a life of existential struggle. Shams has no time to grow up: he works as a plastic-bag seller at the bazaar, as a bus driver’s assistant, as a carrier. And he loves books. But at a time when one wrong word can mean death, he enters a world whose dangers he does not see coming.

»Abbas Khider has long been one of the important contemporary German-language writers. His literature is surprisingly sober, with short sentences, an unsparing eye for the cruelties of war and torture, and full of humor that is half liberating, half bitter. … A stirring new novel.« Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung