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Fadhil Al-Azzawi

Fadhil Al-Azzawi is one of the leading experimental writers in the Arab world.  Born in 1940 in Kirkuk, Iraq, he has published seven volumes of poetry, six novels, three books of criticism and memoir, and several translations of German literary works.  Al-Azzawi participated in Iraq's avant-garde Sixties Generation, and his early controversial work was critiqued and lauded with great enthusiasm. He edited a number of magazines in Iraq and abroad and founded Shi`r 69 (Poetry 69), which was banned after the fourth number. He spent three years in jail under the dictatorship of the Ba`th regime. In 1976, as the Baathist-controlled regime was tightening its grip on power, Al-Azzawi left Iraq to earn a doctorate in cultural journalism from Leipzig University.  Titles available in English include Miracle Maker (BOA 2003), poems translated by Khaled Mattawa, and three novels, The Last of the Angels (2007 and 2008), Cell Block Five (2008), and The Traveler and the Innkeeper (2011), all translated by William Maynard Hutchins. Al-Azzawi has worked as a freelance journalist and translator for Arab newspapers and cultural reviews, and is currently a full-time writer living in Berlin.

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