Guantanamo: A Novel

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At the beginning of the Afghan war, young Rashid, born in Hamburg to an Indian father and a German mother, travels to India to claim an inheritance. There, he befriends a young Afghan and continues his journey to Peshawar, where he ends up in the middle of an anti-American demonstration. He is arrested, handed over to the Americans, and taken to the notorious Guantanamo. What ensues is a remarkable literary experiment, a novel based on meticulous research. In six scenes, it describes Rashid's life at the camp. Sensitive yet utterly unsentimental, the novel explores the existential consequences of isolation, suppression, and uncertainty -- paralyzing fear, psychotic delusions, manic identification with fellow prisoners, and ultimately, resignation. Written with fierce moral clarity and a remarkable economy of expression, "Guantanamo" functions as both a political statement and a fascinating examination of the prisoner/jailer relationship.