Abbas Khider

German-language writer of Iraqi origin whose literary talent has been recognised by the Adelbert von Chamisso and Nelly Sachs prizes.

Abbas Khider. © Yves Noir

Abbas Khider was born in 1973 in Bagdad. At the age of 19 he was imprisoned for political activity against the regime of Saddam Hussein. On his release from prison in 1996, he fled Iraq. He spent several years as an undocumented refugee in various countries before settling in Germany in 2000. In 2005, while studying Philosophy and Science of Literature in Munich, he began publishing his first poems.

His mother tongue is Arabic, but in 2008 he debuted with the novel The Village Indian. In 2011 he published the novel Die Orangen des Präsidenten (The president’s oranges) and, in 2013, the novel Brief in die Auberginenrepublik (Letter to the aubergine republic).

Abbas Khider has been honoured with several prizes and grants, including the Adelbert von Chamisso prize (2010), the Hilde Domin Award for literature in exile (2013), the Nelly Sachs prize (2013), the Melusine Huss (2013), the Alfred Döblin scholarship (2009), an honour diploma of the Iraqi cultural Support Association (2010), the Villa Aurora fellowship (2011), a London Fellowship of the German Literature Fund (2013), the Grenzgänger scholarship of the Robert Bosch Foundation (2013) and the Künstlerhaus Edenkoben fellowship (2013).

Khider has been a member of the PEN since 2010. He lives and works in Berlin.

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