May the Tigris Grieve for You by Emilienne Malfatto

May the Tigris Grieve for You by Emilienne Malfatto

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Winner of the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman 2021.

 

Rural Iraq, during the war against the so-called Islamic State. A pregnancy out of wedlock. The young woman knows her fate is sealed.

In crystalline prose May the Tigris Grieve for You enters the minds of all protagonists, before and after death; fragments of the legend of Gilgamesh, the Mesopotamian hero who carries along the memory of the country and its people, punctuate the family members' short monologues, spaced with the mythical voice of the Tigris River, who has seen it all. Inspired by her experience of Iraq's complex reality and brutal wars, Malfatto delivers an uncompromising yet compassionate insight into a rigid society ruled by fathers and sons, a world in which life matters less than honour.