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Saddam the romancier

While Baghdad burned, was the dictator fiddling with fiction? Saddam is now working on his fifth romantic novel; a good time to assess his place in the genre of "dic-lit"

By Jo Tatchell   July 2004

In an isolated prison cell, an ageing, mustachioed gentleman sits writing at a small canteen table. Recent months have seen a stark change in his fortunes. Gone are the Gucci suits and French hair dye. Gone is the entourage of supporters. The writer has very little outside contact now, save the occasional visits from the Red Cross and his interrogators. He has no idea if the novel he is working on, an epic allegorical tale of passion and revenge, will ever be published.

Provisionally entitled The Great Awakening, his fifth novel will emerge into a very different critical climate from…

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