The Outcast

Inaam Kachachi

The Outcast is based on a true story and spans the history of modern Iraq. Amid the upheavals of the 1940s when Iraq was ruled by a monarchy, the novel’s main protagonist, Taj al-Muluk Abdelmagid, a journalist and female owner of the first magazine in Iraq, has relationships with Nuri al-Said, the Prime Minister, and Abd al-Ilah, Regent to King Faisal II. Forced to flee due to her involvement in anti-government activity, she moves to Pakistan with her Palestinian colleague Mansour al-Badi where they work for Karachi Arabic radio, fall in love, but are forced to part. While Taj al-Muluk moves to Paris and gets married, her lover Mansour becomes an advisor to Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President. Meanwhile, Widyan, a young violin player in the Iraqi symphony orchestra, has lost her hearing after being attacked by the son of the Iraqi President. She travels to Paris for medical treatment, where she is befriended by Taj al-Muluk. Despite the difference in their ages, they form a close friendship, bound by their sense of belonging to a country which has rejected them both, for no fault of their own. 


Dar al-Jadid


2019 Shortlist