Musician in the Clouds

Author: Ali Bader

Publishing House: Georgetown University Press

Publication Year: 2024

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 160

 “Musician in the Clouds” by Ali Bader, an acclaimed Iraqi novelist. Delves into the themes of global migration in the postcolonial era. The consequences of extremism, and the complex notion of belonging. This story, originally published in Arabic in 2016 during a period of heightened migration from the Middle East to Europe. It has been translated to reach a wider audience. Including an updated version of the novel from 2023 and a unique interview between Bader and the translator.

The narrative centers around Nabil, a gifted classical cellist, whose life is governed by his passion for music and art. His peaceful existence in Iraq shattered when he attacked and left unable to play music. This traumatic event compels Nabil to emigrate to Europe. Driven by the belief that he will find a more accepting and fitting society there. Throughout his journey, he reflects on music, the concept of a Utopian City as proposed by the philosopher al-Farabi. His quest for an ideal place where his artistic soul can find solace.

In Europe, Nabil’s path crosses with Fanny, and they develop a romantic relationship. Fanny endeavors to support Nabil in overcoming his challenges and reestablishing his life. However, Nabil finds it difficult to come to terms with his new reality and accept the help offered to him. Through Nabil’s experiences, Bader crafts a nuanced exploration of an artist’s struggle to find their place in the world, simultaneously offering a subtle yet profound critique of both Iraqi and European societies.

Furthermore, Ali Bader, is a multifaceted Iraqi writer, known for his contributions as a novelist, essayist, poet, and screenwriter. Honored with five major Arabic literary awards. Additionally, he has authored notable works such as “Papa Sartre” and “The Tobacco Keeper.” Bader currently resides in Brussels, Belgium, continuing his literary endeavors. “Musician in the Clouds” stands as a testament to his insightful exploration of contemporary issues affecting artists and individuals in a globalized world.

Read More About Ali Bader

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