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The style of my book must be in small pieces, as my life has been in pieces. (Jalal Barzanji) From 1986 to 1988 poet and journalist Jalal Barzanji endured imprisonment and torture under Saddam Hussein’s regime because of his literary and journalistic achievements—writing that openly explores themes of peace, democracy, and freedom. It was not until 1998, when he and his family took refuge in Canada, that he was able to consider speaking out fully on these topics. Still, due to economic necessity, Barzanji’s dream of writing had to wait until he was named Edmonton’s first Writer-in-Exile in 2007. This literary memoir is the project Barzanji worked on while Writer-in-Exile, and it is the first translation of his work from Kurdish into English.

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