Jordan Bans Saddam Hussein's Novel

Cover of Get Out You Damned by Saddam HusseinOusted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's novel called Get Out You Damned has been banned by Jordan officials who say the novel could harm relations between Jordan and Iraq. Before the news of the ban, Al Jazeera had reported that the book was going to be published in Jordan by members of Saddam's family. The Al Jazeera article said Saddam had written a total of three novels before the Iraq War started.
Two other novels -- Zabiba and the King and The Impregnable Fortress -- have been attributed to Saddam although they were released as novels written "by its author".
Saddam's latest novel has also been called Get Out of Here, Curse You!, which isn't nearly as catchy as Get Out You Damned (Surely there should be a comma in there somewhere?). Because he can't use his presidential status to immediatly order the publication of his latest novel, Saddam may be forced to turn to self-publishing. Reuters reports that a London publisher rejected the right to publish the book:
His latest book tells the story of Salem, a noble Arab tribesman who represents righteousness and Arab nationalism, and defeats his American and Jewish enemies. Illegal copies of the book have circulated in Amman.

The tale describes how Salem unites divided Arab tribes in Iraq to defeat Hisquel, a foreign intruder who represents evil.

A publisher for a London-based publishing house who was offered the rights to print an English translation by the Jordanian publisher said they turned it down.

"We read it but thought it had very little literary value," Hesperus Press publisher Alessandro Gallenzi told Reuters from London.

"We publish classics. I'm afraid this one does not make it."

Posted on June 28, 2005

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