Ali Bader

Ali Bader, an influential Iraqi novelist, poet, translator, scriptwriter, and critic. Wdely regarded as one of the most significant Arabic writers of the last decade. With a repertoire of eighteen fiction works and several non-fiction pieces. Bader carved a unique niche in the Arabic literary world. His works are distinguished by their blend of character study, social critique, philosophical insight, and explicit language. Born in Baghdad, Bader’s academic background in Western philosophy and French literature deeply influences his writing. He currently resides in Brussels and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Eurolitkrant, an interdisciplinary and literary journal.

Ali Bader ‘s journey as an author began in Baghdad, where he pursued studies in Western philosophy and French literature. He has authored 18 novels and leads Alca Books, a notable Arabic publishing house. His breakthrough novel, “Papa Sartre,” published in 2001, critiques the cultural influence of the 1960s generation in Baghdad. Employing parody to portray the pseudo-intellectuals of the era and the decline of Iraq’s wealthy families. This novel earned him the State Prize for Literature in Baghdad in 2002 and the Tunisian Abu Al-Qassem Al-Shabi Award.

In 2002, Ali Bader released “The Family’s Winter,” revisiting the decline of Iraq’s elite. Particularly focusing on the aristocracy of the 1950s. This work garnered the Prize of Literary Creativity in the United Arab Emirates. His next novel, “The Road to Mutran Hill” (2003), addressed Iraqi social issues and foreshadowed the disintegration of the nation’s socioeconomic fabric. “The Naked Feast” (2004) explored the rise of the Iraqi intelligentsia in the early 20th century. His 2005 novel, “Tumult, Women and a Sunken Writer,” depicted the marginalized Iraqi poets and novelists of the 1990s under Saddam Hussein’s regime and won him critical acclaim.

Bader’s novel “Jerusalem Lantern” (2006) is a fictional account of Edward Said, and in 2007. He published “Running after the Wolves,” focusing on Iraqi intellectuals fleeing Africa due to persecution. “The Tobacco Keeper” (2008) delved into post-2003 cultural life in Iraq and was nominated for the Arab Booker Prize. His 2009 novel, “Kings of the Sand,” became a bestseller at Arab book fairs, and in 2010, he published “Crime, Art, and Dictionary of Baghdad,” exploring philosophical schools in the Abbasid era.

Bader’s non-fiction includes “Massignion in Baghdad” (2005), “Sleeping Prince and Waiting Campaign” (2006), and “Shahadat: Witnessing Iraq’s Transformation after 2003” (2007). He received the Every Human Has Rights Media Award in 2008 for “MNSG: Navigation between Home and Exile.”

Apart from his literary works, Bader is a prolific journalist. Contributing columns to Arabic newspapers and working as a war correspondent. His journalism includes assignments in Al-Hayat, Al-Mada, Al-Dustour, and Al-Riyadh.

Bader’s bibliography is extensive, including novels like “Papa Sartre” (2001), “Family’s Winter” (2002), “The Naked Feast” (2003), “The Road to Bishop’s Hill” (2004), “Beautiful Woman and Obscured Writer” (2005), and “Jerusalem Lantern” (2006). His novels “Running After the Wolves” (2007), “The Tobacco Keeper” (2008), “The Kings Sands” (2009), and “Crime, Art, and Baghdad Dictionary” (2010) reflect his diverse thematic interests. His later works include “The Professors of Illusion” (2011), “The Sinful Woman” (2015), “Playing With the Clouds” (2016), “Liars Get Everything” (2017), “The Killers’ Party” (2018), “The Exile’s Strange Journal” (2019), and “Last Words of a Filipina Sex Worker in Dubai” (2020).

Bader has also made significant contributions to poetry. With collections like “Book of the Trade: Baghdad in 1898” (2000), “Crimes of Velvet and Cream” (2002), and “Book of Assassins” (2004), among others. His essays and theatrical works further showcase his versatility as a writer.

Bader’s numerous awards and recognitions include the Mario Lattes Prize, Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation, Saint Eden-Banipal Scholarship. In addition to the Heinrich Boll scholarship, reflecting his international acclaim. His journalistic work earned him the Every Human Has Rights Award, among others, for his insightful reporting on Iraq’s transformation post-2003.

Books Written by Ali Bader