Mujahideen: A Novel

I’ve just spent the last three weeks climbing desert towers in Indian Creek, Utah.

Among other things (including devouring Jon Krakuer’s “Under the Banner of Heaven” and Edward Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire”), I’m pretty pleased to have finished the first draft of a novel I’ve been writing since February.

The novel is called Mujahideen. It concerns the contemporary conflict in Syria. Although the work is most certainly fictional, the writing process has been deeply personal for me and throughout the entire “struggle” (Arabic aficionados will do well to contextualise the many meanings of this word), I’ve constantly treaded the line between writing something that is “too real” (for me and for others) and writing something that is “just real enough”. Regular readers of this blog will probably understand what I mean by this.

There is still a good month to go of revisions and editorial self-flagellation and I still haven’t found a publisher (or even approached one, for that matter) but all things will happen in the fullness of time.

In the meantime, here is a thematically-relevant haiku inspired by everybody’s favourite pre-WWII senator, Hiram Johnson.

“The first casualty / Of war is truth. A cliché / But it’s still true.”


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