Author

Rodaan Al Galidi

Rodaan Al Galidi is a poet and writer. Born in Iraq, trained as an architectural engineer, he has lived in the Netherlands since 1998. Since as an undocumented asylum seeker he did not have the right to attend language classes, he taught himself to read and write Dutch. Al Galidi already has five novels and seven books of poetry in Dutch under his belt, and has been nominated for a number of prizes. His novel The Autist and the Carrier Pigeon (2009) was crowned with the prestigious European Union’s Literature Prize in 2011, the same year he failed his citizenship course. 2016 has seen the publication of his well-received poetry collection Refrigerator Light and this, his sixth novel, Two Blankets, Three Sheets, which sold 60,000 copies.

Two Blankets, Three Sheets

Two Blankets, Three Sheets

(Jurgen Maas, 2016, 472 pages)

Samir Karim flees Iraq in order to avoid conscription into Saddam Hussein’s army. After a seven-year detour wandering throughout Asia and Europe, he arrives in the Netherlands in 1998. For nine years he is interned in a centre for asylum seekers, three men to a room. Finally, in 2007, when the Dutch government issues a General Pardon to asylum seekers who arrived in the country before 2001, he is granted a permit to stay.

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Holland

Holland

(De Kade, 2020, 399 pages)

Semmier Karim fled Iraq and ended up in the Netherlands where, after waiting in an asylum seekers’ center for nine years, he finally received a residency permit. In Two Blankets, Three Sheets, Rodaan Al Galidi described the bureaucratic red tape surrounding immigration; in the sequel, Holland, Semmier gets to know the country and its inhabitants. He affectionately criticizes Dutch society and provides funny descriptions of First World problems.

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Translations