Monday, March 27, 2006

Riverbend nominated for award

An anonymous Iraqi woman has been nominated for one of the Britain's most prestigious literary prizes, after writing a blog charting "three years of occupation and bloodshed" in Baghdad.

Alongside literary giants such as Alan Bennett, the 27-year-old Iraqi university graduate has been longlisted for the £30,000 (NZ$85,000) Samuel Johnson Prize, the most valuable award in non-fiction.

Writing under the pseudonym Riverbend - the blog (see link below) chronicles three war-ravaged years in her home city and calls for the withdrawal of US troops. Baghdad Burning, published by the independent publishers, Marion Boyars, is among 19 candidates for the award which is open to any writers whose books are published in English.

Other contenders include Untold Stories by Alan Bennett, After The Victorians by AN Wilson, and a biography of Mrs Beeton by Kathryn Hughes. Little is known about the author of Baghdad Burning, who prefers to remain anonymous.

From the New Zealand Herald, H/T UAE Community Blog

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