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Baghdad Central

Baghdad, 2003. The US occupation is not yet a disaster but the CPA has disbanded the Iraqi army and decimated the police in its policy of de-Ba'athification of society. Inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji is a mid-level Iraqi cop who deserted his post back in April. Nabbed by the Americans and imprisoned, he is offered one way out - work for the CPA to rebuild the Iraqi Police Services. Soon, he is investigating the disappearance of young translators working for the US Army. The bloody trail leads Khafaji through battles, bars and brothels, then finally back to the Green Zone.

Elliott Colla divides his time between Washington DC and the Middle East. This is his first novel. He teaches Arabic literature at Georgetown University. He has translated much contemporary Arabic literature, including: Ibrahim Aslan's novel, The Heron, Idris Ali's Poor, Ibrahim al-Koni's Gold Dust, and Rabai al-Madhoun's The Lady from Tel Aviv, winner of English PEN award.He is also co-editor of the e-zine, Jadaliyya.


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