The Tobacco Keeper
Author: Ali Bader
Published: May 2011
- Long-listed for the Arab Booker Prize 2009
- By one of the rising stars of Arabic literature
- Spans five decades of turbulent Middle East history
The Tobacco Keeper relates the investigation of the life of a celebrated Jewish Iraqi musician who was expelled to Israel in the 1950s. Having returned to Iraq, via Iran, the musician is thrown out as an Israeli spy. Returning for the third time under a forged passport, he is murdered in mysterious circumstances. Arriving in Baghdad’s Green Zone during the US-led occupation, a journalist writing a story about the musician’s life discovers an underworld of fake identities, mafias and militias. Even among the journalists, there is a secret world of identity games, fake names and ulterior motives.
Ali Bader is an award-winning Iraqi novelist, essayist, poet, scriptwriter and journalist who has written ten novels, several works of non-fiction and two poetry collections. Author of Papa Sartre (AUC Press, 2009), he has covered the Middle East for various newspapers. Ali Bader lives in Belgium