Muhsin Al-Ramli - The President's Gardens - Quercus

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780857056795
    • Publication date:20 Apr 2017
  • Paperback £8.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9780857056801
    • Publication date:19 Apr 2018
Books in this series

The President's Gardens

By Muhsin Al-Ramli

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

One Hundred Years of Solitude meets The Kite Runner in Saddam Hussein's Iraq

One Hundred Years of Solitude meets The Kite Runner in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

"A contemporary tragedy of epic proportions. No author is better placed than Muhsin Al-Ramli, already a star in the Arabic literary scene, to tell this story. I read it in one sitting".
Hassan Blasim, winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Iraqi Christ.

On the third day of Ramadan, the village wakes to find the severed heads of nine of its sons stacked in banana crates by the bus stop.

One of them belonged to one of the most wanted men in Iraq, known to his friends as Ibrahim the Fated.

How did this good and humble man earn the enmity of so many? What did he do to deserve such a death?

The answer lies in his lifelong friendship with Abdullah Kafka and Tariq the Befuddled, who each have their own remarkable stories to tell.

It lies on the scarred, irradiated battlefields of the Gulf War and in the ashes of a revolution strangled in its cradle.

It lies in the steadfast love of his wife and the festering scorn of his daughter.

And, above all, it lies behind the locked gates of The President's Gardens, buried alongside the countless victims of a pitiless reign of terror.

Translated from the Arabic by Luke Leafgren

Biographical Notes

Muhsin Al-Ramli is an Iraqi writer, poet, academic and translator, born in the village of Sudara in northern Iraq in 1967. He has lived in Madrid since 1995. The President's Gardens was longlisted for the IPAF, known as the "Arabic Booker", in 2013.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857056788
  • Publication date: 20 Apr 2017
  • Page count: 352
  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
Though firmly rooted in its context, The President's Gardens' concerns are universal. It is a profoundly moving investigation of love, death and injustice, and an affirmation of the importance of dignity, friendship and meaning amid oppression. The novel is undoubtedly a tragedy, but its light touch and persistent humour make it an enormous pleasure to read. — Robin Yassin-Kassab, Guardian.
A story buffeted by the wider tides of history: the bloody churn of dictatorship, invasion and occupation . . . The President's Gardens evokes the fantastical, small town feel of One Hundred Years of Solitude . . . Shocks and enchants. — Tom Gordon, Financial Times.
A beautiful novel . . . Consistently compelling . . . In writing about ordinary Iraqis who pay the cost of wars waged by autocratic leaders, Al-Ramli touches on deep and timeless themes. — Alastair Mabbott, Glasgow Herald.
Deeply painful and satirical, The President's Gardens is a contemporary tragedy of epic proportions. No author is better placed than Muhsin Al-Ramli, already a star in the Arabic literary scene, to tell this story. I read it in one sitting. — Hassan Blasim, winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
One of the most important contemporary Iraqi novelists and writers. — El Mundo.
A stunning achievement. — Ben East, The National.
A novel filled with details . . . with passion, homeland, revolution, and grief. It represents a landmark in the progression of Iraqi literature. — Miral Al-Tahawi.
How do you preserve dignity amidst the relentless carnage and mutilation of modern Iraq? Told with a fresh transparency and tender insight, The President's Gardens draws on the unfathomable resilience of the Iraqi people, leaving me speechless and humbled. — Paul MacAlindin, author of Upbeat: The Story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq.
Masterful. — Malu Halasa, co-author and editor of Syria Speaks.
MacLehose Press

One Clear Ice-cold January Morning at the Beginning of the 21st Century

Roland Schimmelpfennig
Authors:
Roland Schimmelpfennig

A contemporary Berlin fairy tale that bristles with urban truths - the first novel of Germany's most successful playwrightOne clear, ice-old January morning shortly after dawn, a wolf crosses the border between Poland and Germany. His trail leads all the way to Berlin, connecting the lives of disparate individuals whose paths intersect and diverge. On an icy motorway eighty kilometres outside the city, a fuel tanker jack-knifes and explodes. The lone wolf is glimpsed on the hard shoulder and photographed by Thomas, a Polish construction worker who cannot survive in Germany without his girlfriend. Elisabeth and Micha run away through the snow from their home village, crossing the wolf's tracks on their way to the city. A woman burns her mother's diaries on a Berlin balcony. And Elisabeth's father, a famous sculptor, observes the vast skeleton of a whale in his studio and asks: What am I doing here? And why? Experiences and encounters flicker past with a raw, visual power, like frames in a black and white film. Those who catch sight of the wolf see their own lives reflected ? experiences of loss and of being lost, of searching for a different path in a cold time. This first novel of Germany's most celebrated contemporary playwright is written in prose of tremendous power and precision. Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

riverrun

Almost Love

Louise O'Neill
Authors:
Louise O'Neill
Quercus

The Love Factory

Elaine Proctor
Authors:
Elaine Proctor
Quercus

Her Mother's Secret

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

Escape to the heart of beautiful, sun-drenched Brittany with the bestselling author of The Villa and The Little Theatre by the Sea. The perfect treat for fans of Santa Montefiore and Veronica Henry.For most of her life Colette has avoided returning to her homeland - the beautiful island of Belle-Ile - afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea's failing health and reluctantly she decides to return. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done?Despite Colette's wariness, romantic Belle-Ile, where her mother runs the local flower shop, still fascinates her and as Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. She meets Étienne, a tortured soul who shares her confused feelings towards the island, and a strong bond begins to develop between them.But the ghosts of the past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Ile hides a devastating family secret - one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.

MacLehose Press

A Hero Born

Jin Yong
Authors:
Jin Yong
MacLehose Press

About the Size of the Universe

Jón Kalman Stefánsson
Authors:
Jón Kalman Stefánsson

At the beginning of this story there is death, and yet it is a celebration of life - the lives of many generations of Ari's family - of the passion between a man and a woman, forbidden love, violence, sorrow, betrayal and depression. Happiness and misfortune are passed down from one generation to the next - the sorrow over what was and what might have been weighs heavily on the characters - and at the end of this chain, for now, stands Ari, on his way to his dying father, with a score still to be settled.The raw beauty of life is written into the dramatic Icelandic landscape, and into a society that has undergone great transformation within a century. In language both archaic and lyrical, and yet entirely contemporary, piercingly melancholic and yet refreshingly full of humour, Jón Kalman Stefánsson proves himself to be one of the finest European writers of his generation.A companion volume to Fish Have No Feet (longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017).Translated from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton

riverrun

Seventeen

Hideo Yokoyama
Authors:
Hideo Yokoyama
MacLehose Press

Zen and the Art of Murder

Oliver Bottini
Authors:
Oliver Bottini
MacLehose Press

The Impostor

Javier Cercas
Authors:
Javier Cercas

Jo Fletcher Books

The Crow Garden

Alison Littlewood
Authors:
Alison Littlewood

There's an amazing sense of place and time in this novel, as Littlewood perfectly captures the literary style, attitudes, and class consciousness of Victorian England' - Publishers WeeklySusan Hill meets Alfred Hitchcock in Alison Littlewood's latest chiller: mad-doctor Nathaniel is obsessed with the beautiful Mrs Harleston - but is she truly delusional? Or is she hiding secrets that should never be uncovered . . . ?Haunted by his father's suicide, Nathaniel Kerner walks away from the highly prestigious life of a consultant to become a mad-doctor. He takes up a position at Crakethorne Asylum, but the proprietor is more interested in phrenology and his growing collection of skulls than the patients' minds. Nathaniel's only interesting case is Mrs Victoria Harleston: her husband accuses her of hysteria and delusions - but she accuses him of hiding secrets far more terrible.Nathaniel is increasingly obsessed with Victoria, but when he has her mesmerised, there are unexpected results: Victoria starts hearing voices, the way she used to - her grandmother always claimed they came from beyond the grave - but it also unleashes her own powers of mesmerism . . . and a desperate need to escape.Increasingly besotted, Nathaniel finds himself caught up in a world of séances and stage mesmerism in his bid to find Victoria and save her.But constantly hanging over him is this warning: that doctors are apt to catch the diseases with which they are surrounded - whether of the body or the mind . . .

MacLehose Press

The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles

Roy Jacobsen
Authors:
Roy Jacobsen
MacLehose Press

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye: Continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series

David Lagercrantz
Authors:
David Lagercrantz

The girl with the dragon tattoo is not given to forgiveness.Lisbeth Salander has been forged by a brutal childhood and horrific abuse. And repeated attempts on her life. The ink embedded in her skin is a constant reminder of her pledge to fight against the injustice she finds on every side. Confinement to the secure unit of a women's prison is intended as a punishment. Instead, Lisbeth finds herself in relative safety. Flodberga is a failing prison, effectively controlled by the inmates, and for a computer hacker of her exceptional gifts there are no boundaries.Mikael Blomkvist makes the long trip to visit every week - and receives a lead to follow for his pains, one that could provide an important expose for Millennium: Salander tells him to check out Leo Mannheimer, a seemingly reputable stockbroker from Stockholm, somehow connected to the long-ago death of a child psychologist - and to the psychiatric unit where Lisbeth was an involuntary patient as a child. Lisbeth knows she is coming closer to solving the mysteries of her early life; and even within the confines of the prison, she feels the deadly influence exerted by her twin sister. She cannot stand by as racial and religious conflicts run unchecked amongst the community around her, manipulated by criminal forces far beyond the prison walls.Salander will stand up for what she believes in. She will find out the truth. Whatever the cost . . .The tension, power and unstoppable force of The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye are inspired by Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, as Salander and Blomkvist continue the fight for justice that has thrilled millions of readers across the world.Translated from the Swedish by George Goulding

Quercus

A Perfect Husband

Hilary Boyd
Authors:
Hilary Boyd

What would it take for you to give up on the man you love, the man you thought was the perfect husband - until you discovered just how much he was hiding from you? Lily and Freddy have a wonderful relationship: passionate and fun. Freddy taught her to love again after the death of her father. But then Freddy becomes tense, snappy and distracted. Is he having an affair? The truth turns out to be much worse...Freddy is addicted to gambling. He owes hundreds of thousands of pounds to loan companies; he's been helping himself to money from his own company, which has now gone bust; and worst of all, his wife's money - given to him to invest - is gone. Devastated, Lily leaves him, and moves to stay with her sister in Oxford. There, among the dreaming spires, she will clear her head of Freddy and try to figure out how to move on.But being away from Freddy is far harder than she'd thought. He promises to get help, but can he really ever be cured of his addiction? How can Lily trust him again - surely, after the heartache he's caused her, she would be far better off walking away and starting again? The truth is, she is as addicted to Freddy as he is to gambling - and she's not sure she even wants to be free.

MacLehose Press

Nevada Days

Bernardo Atxaga
Authors:
Bernardo Atxaga
MacLehose Press

Vernon Subutex 1

Virginie Despentes
Authors:
Virginie Despentes

WHO IS VERNON SUBUTEX?An urban legend. A fall from grace. The mirror who reflects us all.Vernon Subutex was once the proprietor of Revolver, an infamous music shop in Bastille. His legend spread throughout Paris. But by the 2000s his shop is struggling. With his savings gone, his unemployment benefit cut, and the friend who had been covering his rent suddenly dead, Vernon Subutex finds himself down and out on the Paris streets.He has one final card up his sleeve. Even as he holds out his hand to beg for the first time, a throwaway comment he once made on Facebook is taking the internet by storm. Vernon does not realise this, but the word is out: Vernon Subutex has in his possession the last filmed recordings of Alex Bleach, the famous musician and Vernon's benefactor, who has only just died of a drug overdose. A crowd of people from record producers to online trolls and porn stars are now on Vernon's trail.Translated from the French by Frank Wynne

MacLehose Press

The Baltimore Boys

Joël Dicker
Authors:
Joël Dicker

Fresh from the staggering success of The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, Marcus Goldman is struggling to write his third novel. A chance encounter in Florida throws him some inspiration from a surprising source: Alexandra Neville, the beautiful, phenomenally successful singer and Marcus's first love. All at once, memories of his childhood come flooding back. Memories of a family torn apart by tragedy, and a once glorious legacy reduced to shame and ruin.The Baltimore Boys. The Goldman Gang. That was what they called Marcus, and his cousins Hillel and Woody. Three brilliant young men with their whole lives ahead of them, before their kingdom crumbled beneath the weight of lies, jealousy and betrayal. For years, Marcus has struggled with the burdens of his past, but now, he must attempt to banish his demons and tell the real story of the Baltimore Boys.Translated from the French by Alison Anderson

MacLehose Press

The Unseen

Roy Jacobsen
Authors:
Roy Jacobsen

Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017Nobody can leave an island. An island is a cosmos in a nutshell, where the stars slumber in the grass beneath the snow. But occasionally someone tries . . . Ingrid Barrøy is born on an island that bears her name - a holdfast for a single family, their livestock, their crops, their hopes and dreams.Her father dreams of building a quay that will connect them to the mainland, but closer ties to the wider world come at a price. Her mother has her own dreams - more children, a smaller island, a different life - and there is one question Ingrid must never ask her.Island life is hard, a living scratched from the dirt or trawled from the sea, so when Ingrid comes of age, she is sent to the mainland to work for one of the wealthy families on the coast.But Norway too is waking up to a wider world, a modern world that is capricious and can be cruel. Tragedy strikes, and Ingrid must fight to protect the home she thought she had left behind.Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw

Quercus

The Night Visitor

Lucy Atkins
Authors:
Lucy Atkins

'Horribly, horribly compulsive. Brilliant' Fiona Barton How far would you go to save your reputation? The stunning new noir thriller from the author of the bestselling The Missing One and The Other Child. Perfect for fans of I Let You Go and Lie With Me.Professor Olivia Sweetman has worked hard to achieve the life she loves, with a high-flying career as a TV presenter and historian, three children and a talented husband. But as she stands before a crowd at the launch of her new bestseller she can barely pretend to smile. Her life has spiralled into deceit and if the truth comes out, she will lose everything.Only one person knows what Olivia has done. Vivian Tester is the socially awkward sixty-year-old housekeeper of a Sussex manor who found the Victorian diary on which Olivia's book is based. She has now become Olivia's unofficial research assistant. And Vivian has secrets of her own.As events move between London, Sussex and the idyllic South of France, the relationship between these two women grows more entangled and complex. Then a bizarre act of violence changes everything.The Night Visitor is a compelling exploration of ambition, morality and deception that asks the question: how far would you go to save your reputation?'Such a sophisticated, layered read, I absolutely revelled in it' Clare Mackintosh

Quercus

The Little Theatre by the Sea

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

The bestselling author of The Villa and The Saffron Trail returns with a gorgeous summer read about love and starting over - set in West Dorset and beautiful Sardinia. Perfect for fans of Santa Montefiore, Dinah Jefferies and Harriet Evans.Faye has just completed her degree in interior design when she finds herself jobless and boyfriend-less. While debating what to do next she receives a surprise phone call from her old college friend Charlotte who now lives in Sardinia and is married to Italian hotelier, Fabio. When Charlotte suggests that Faye relocate for a month to house-sit, Faye wonders if a summer break in sunny Sardinia might be the perfect way to recharge her batteries and think about her future. But then Charlotte tells Faye that there's something more behind the sudden invitation: her friends Marisa and Alessandro are looking for a designer to renovate a crumbling old theatre they own in the scenic village of Deriu. The idea certainly sounds appealing to Faye, but little does she know what she's letting herself in for if she accepts this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity . . .

Quercus

A Harvest of Thorns

Corban Addison
Authors:
Corban Addison

A beloved American corporation with an explosive secret. A disgraced former journalist looking for redemption. A corporate executive with nothing left to lose.In Dhaka, Bangladesh, a garment factory burns to the ground, claiming the lives of hundreds of workers, mostly young women. Amid the rubble, a bystander captures a heart-stopping image-a teenage girl lying in the dirt, her body broken by a multi-story fall, and over her mouth a mask of fabric bearing the label of one of America's largest retailers, Presto Omnishops Corporation. When the photo goes viral, it fans the flames of a decades old controversy about sweatshops, labor rights, and the ethics of globalization.A year later, in Washington, D.C., Joshua Griswold, a disgraced former journalist for the Washington Post, receives an anonymous summons from a corporate whistleblower promising information about Presto. There, to Griswold's astonishment, he meets Cameron Alexander, Presto's long-time general counsel. Alexander, who has secrets of his own, offers Griswold confidential information about Presto's apparel supply chain.For Griswold, the challenge of exposing Presto's willful negligence is irresistible, as is the chance, however slight, at redemption. Deploying his old journalistic skills, he builds a historic case against Presto, setting the stage for a war in the courtroom and in the media that Griswold is determined to win-both to salvage his reputation and to provoke a revolution of conscience in Presto's boardroom that could change the course of the fashion industry across the globe.