The Traveler and the Innkeeper
Fadhil Al-Azzawi; William M Hutchins (Appalachian State University)
This timely, elegant novel’s hero is an Iraqi secret police inspector who routinely uses enhanced interrogation techniques, which even he considers torture. Convinced that he is protecting society from anarchy, he is at peace with the world until ordered to interrogate a childhood friend, a journalist with possible links to violent subversives.
Then he falls in love with his friend’s wife. The plot of this novel, which was written in Iraq in 1976 and published in Arabic in Germany in 1989, is further complicated by street protests in Baghdad following the Six-Day Arab–Israeli War of June 1967. Despite the grim subject matter of this novel, it is at heart a love story, lyrically narrated.