"Sutour" House released a new novel by the Iraqi novelist, residing in Germany, Najm Wali entitled "Suad and Al-Askar" on October 20, which coincides with the 64th birthday of the star Wali.
The same novel will be published in German in the third month of next year, by the German-Swiss house Syssion.
From the title, from the cover of the novel and from its events, the reader discovers that the novel is about the late Egyptian star Souad Hosni, and the relationship of her killing or suicide with the intelligence and the Egyptian regime.
It is not a police novel in the full sense of that school that the Arab reader misses. It does not begin with the killing of "Suad Hosni" and the search for its killer through a specific investigator, but rather goes to dissect the complete possession of Souad from her childhood by a man from the intelligence services, and thus the possession of her fate.
Throughout the novel, we find many lines, multiple stories, and various personalities, which go to explain the suffering suffered by those who are under the control of the military, so we find many files of multiple artists who were blackmailed by the Egyptian intelligence, so that they would remain collaborators with him, in exchange for stardom and a livelihood.
Physical blackmail is only carried out by criminals, and that blackmail may lead to the killing of one of the parties or his suicide, as long as the person subjected to blackmail cannot sue the person who blackmails him because he is simply the opponent and the judge at the same time.
This blackmail was done through the artist's use of defrauding and blackmailing security and leadership figures in other countries to subject these figures to military control as well, and to obtain from them the secrets of their countries.
While the artist is being supported by the media and financially without limits, and if she tries to refuse the mission, she will be eliminated and from the secrets she knows about the methods of those soldiers.
This novel is not a documentary novel either, but rather there is fiction and fictional play that tempts the reader to question the boundary between truth and fiction, and about those pieces that belong to fiction and intuition more than reality.
Rebellion against the authorities
After the novel "Sarah's sin", whose main events take place in Saudi Arabia, "Souad and Al-Askar", which takes place in Egypt, comes as if a wali was concluding that type of writing in politics and humanity by exposing the authorities' transgressions and the resourcefulness of individuals who think, just think, To turn against them.
Sarah originally appeared in his novel "Baghdad Malboro", which took place in a chapter in Saudi Arabia, but as a child and a similar child, and she was not a "rebel" in that work.
Her father was one of the beneficiaries of the Iraq wars, as he worked as a supply provider at the US base in Dhahran.
The novel "Baghdad Malboro", released in 2012, was said by the well-known German critic, Mike Wassmann, that it is "an anti-war novel that can measure itself with the work of Erik Maria Remark (Everything Quiet in the Western Square)," in an article published by a newspaper. TAGS SPIEGEL, "full page, April 29, 2014.
The success of "Sarah's Trespass" may have encouraged Najm Wali (born in 1956) to consider writing a trilogy about rebellious women, singular, "Women Fighting the Rock with a Body of Glass". The second woman was Egyptian Souad, and the third might be an Iraqi.
Biography and fiction
Although Suad Hosni is a well-known character, and research has increased in her biography after the accident of her departure, this novel is not purely documentary, it is not a biographical novel, as the novelistic fiction exists in a large proportion.
But how much is the proportion of real and imagined in this work?
How long did it take him to find the true side?
Will the fictional become real because there is a lot of real in the work of fiction?
These questions will occupy the mind of the reader who loves biography books and knowing the facts, but because of the fluidity of the narration, he will not search for the real and the imagined as much as he will pay attention to the art and architecture of the text in which the Wali uses many narrative techniques.
While the narrator "the world" controls many chapters of the novel, Wali uses other characters as narrators in the work, and also uses notebooks that Suad herself wrote as diaries, and he employed these notes, as happened in "Sarah's sin", within the text in a form. It increases the tension of the reader to find out if Suad Hosni committed suicide or was killed and disposed of, a task that does not occupy the mind of a wali during the narration of the story and stories.
Two main characters, namely Souad and the officer responsible for her since her childhood, whose name changes many times throughout the work, and narrative characters such as the novelist and the American instrumentalist who came to Egypt on university research and did not return from her.
In addition to many secondary characters that are held and moved by Najm Wali in various ways, and he walks them between America, Britain, Egypt and Iraq.
Wali was able to enter the insides of these characters in a big way, and wander about her personal life, which seemed to be a background to the text and not part of its body, and this made it easier for him to mix the real with the imagined, especially since the protagonist is a very well-known character, and her presence is still fresh among fellow artists, And also among her large audience, who were shocked by the news of her departure in London in mid-2001.
The news of the departure or suicide of Cinderella was shocking to the Arab screen, and it prompted questions about the perpetrator, or about the reasons for the suicide of a cheerful and beloved character like her.
The novel "Souad and Al-Askar" does not go in this direction.
Its aim is not to investigate and condemn, although the many chapters on the military, from the president of the republic to ordinary informants, make writing such as this go to write a biography that is broader than writing one biography that deserves it like the character of Souad Hosni.
Through this novel, which takes place in 375 pages, the star of Wali returns to exposing the security practices of another Arab regime, after his novels "War in Hay al-Tarab" and "A Place called Dead", and then his novel "Tal al-Lahim" in which he exposed security corruption The violent in Iraq heralded the end of dictatorship, and his novel "Sarah's Sin" returns with this novel, which will witness multiple discussions and responses that may lead to its prevention in many Arab exhibitions.
The novel "A Place Called Dead" depicts Iraqi life before the American occupation of the country (Al-Jazeera)
Devotion to language and place
Through his and other works, we find that Wali is biased towards female characters, while his male characters are violent, authoritarian and corrupt.
The woman in Wali's stories is oppressed and battered, but she does not submit to this fate, as she is violent in her tenderness as well as violent in her revenge.
This revenge that may affect her before others.
Taking revenge on herself for her previous weakness, and leaving room for others to exploit and exhaust her life.
The novel "Souad and Al-Askar" is also a flesh and blood novel, and it will pull the Arab reader to the end. The Arab reader who devoted Wali to writing for him in his Arabic language despite his mastery of the German and Spanish languages, and despite his move to Germany more than 40 years ago, as Wali only wrote in that language one collection of stories, while all his other works were written in Arabic. Also, his novels themselves did not come out of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon, despite his long life outside these places. As if he is trying to return to the place through his imagination and stories, while continuing to live outside the place as a tourist.