While a would-be assassin, Hajjar, waits for news of his mission, an egg appears in the hutch of his pet rabbit, creating panic and paranoia.
For me, this story viscerally personalises the swift and dizzying ways in which a conflict can derail a life. Blasim skilfully connects Hajjar’s current predicament with his childhood under sanctions, which featured obsessive research into kissing in the animal kingdom – books read by candlelight when the electricity failed. He reads about an insect called reduvius, which kisses the mouths of sleeping humans, secreting poison in microscopic drops.
First published by The Iraqi Christ, Comma Press, 2013