The Last Pomegranate Tree by Bachtyar Ali, Translated by Kareem Abdulrahman
An inlet to the recesses of a terrifying historical moment, and a philosophical journey of formidable depths, The Last Pomegranate interrogates the origins and reverberations of atrocity. It also probes, with a graceful intelligence, unforgettable acts of mercy.
Bachtyar Ali is one of the most prominent contemporary authors and poets from Iraqi Kurdistan. He has written over 40 books of fiction, poetry, and criticism, including 12 novels, and has been widely translated, a renown very few authors writing in the Kurdish language enjoy. In 2017, he was awarded the Nelly Sachs Prize, joining past recipients such as Milan Kundera, Margaret Atwood and Javier Marías. He is the first author writing in a non-European language to do so. In 2009, Ali received the first HARDI Literature Prize, part of the largest cultural festival in the Kurdish part of Iraq. In 2014, he was also awarded the newly established Sherko Bekas Literature Prize.
Kareem Abdulrahman is a translator who has also worked as a Kurdish media and political analyst for the BBC. His translation of Bakhtiyar Ali's I Stared at the Night of the City was the first Kurdish novel to be translated into English. He lives in London.