Di’s Memoirs

Di's Memoirs Cover

Publishing House: Nabo Publishing and Distribution

Publication Year: 2019

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 400

“Di’s Memoirs” is a novel by the Iraqi writer Ahmed Saadawi, published in 2019 by Nabo Publishing and Distribution. The novel spans 400 pages and is presented as both an autobiography and memoir.

The novel’s description reads, “I am writing now in this notebook because I have all the time I want to formulate things. It is a form of writing not directed at anyone, but for myself, a kind of digestion, and a way to satisfy the desire for a dialogue with someone who doesn’t exist externally… I know that I am imprisoned within the images I produce about myself and the world I live in. However, isn’t every person imprisoned, in one way or another, in their own images of themselves and the world? I also know that my personal prison is overshadowed by a harsh truth, more cruel and rigid than others, and that I may never escape from it.”

In “Di’s Memoirs,” the name “Di” may be an abbreviation for the gentle angel “Devalon.” Still, fundamentally, it is an abbreviation for the name of the Baghdad girl accompanied by this angel, “Diyali Abdulwahid.” She narrates her daily life recorded in her forty notebooks, filled with events, concerns, thoughts, and possibilities of emotional self since the age of fifteen.

The novel serves as a memoir for an entire generation of Iraqi women who struggled through successive war conditions, culminating in the war with ISIS, dealing with racism, desires, aspirations, and hopes. “Di’s Memoirs” spans 400 large-sized pages, divided into 31 chapters, adorned with a cover featuring the artwork of the Iraqi artist Hanan Al-Bayati.

The novel discusses the dichotomy of love and solitude through the memoirist and other characters. The story revolves around “Diyali,” who suffers from a leg disability and lives in a struggling family. It tells how she rebelled against her father, “Abdulwahid,” and how the family experiences fragmentation and lack of cohesion.

The girl chose a friend resembling a guardian angel named “Devalon” and wrote letters to him narrating her struggles. She became addicted to writing for nearly 17 years, recounting her fears and feelings. The memoirs gather all the events she goes through, her various dominating feelings of sorrow, the sorrow of her mother’s early absence, and the heart-wrenching stories she hears about her. It also reflects the sorrow of her difficult relationship with her sister, who wounds her feelings with harsh words. The memoirs unveil new stories and new characters, with endings that will change according to the narrator.

Read More About Ahmed Saadawi

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