Calamities of Exile

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Want to know what it’s really like inside Saddam’s Iraq? Lawrence Weschler takes you deeply into the mind of an Iraqi exile who still has close personal and business ties to Iraq, describing both the excesses and the eccentricities of the still-mysterious regime.

In light of the fact that there’s suddenly a nation (Iraq) with a sizable exile population now able to return, I’m starting to look around for books that delve into the nature of life after fallen despotic regimes, and the people affected by them. Weschler’s book looks at three different exiles: South African Breyten Breytenbach, Iraqi Kanan Makiya, and Czechoslovakian Jan Karan. The book follows the events that led to their exile, their life abroad, and their return.

I recommend you click on the book cover and pick this one up. Even if you read only the story of the Iraqi exile. It’s topical and will enhance your understanding of the recently-toppled Hussein regime.