The Baghdad Eucharist

Sinan Antoon
Translated by Maia Tabet


Displaced by the sectarian violence in the city, Maha and her husband are taken in by a distant cousin, Youssef.

As the growing turmoil around them seeps into their household, a rare argument breaks out between the elderly Youssef and his young guest. Born into sanctions and war, Maha knows nothing of Iraq’s good years that Youssef holds dear.

Set over a single day, The Baghdad Eucharist is an intimate story of love, memory, and anguish in one Christian family.


"Evocative.... gracefully translated by Maia Tabet"
—Clare Roberts, Banipal

"[Antoon] faithfully reproduces the difficult conversations between an Iraqi Christian family housed in Baghdad while the daily scenes of carnage are painfully recounted."
—The Guardian

"A novel about Iraqi agony. Iraq’s history is condensed and elegantly portrayed."
—Al Jazeera

"Sinan Antoon is one of the most talented of the younger generation of Iraqi writers to have emerged from the chaos of that country's recent history."

"Maia Tabet’s skilled translation gives Anglophone readers access to a brutal yet beautiful novel which offers two striking takes on one city from members of an Iraqi Christian family. . . . The Baghdad Eucharist is a short read but one that lingers long in the mind . . . Antoon entrances with both his lavish set-pieces and tight thumbnail sketches. [He] has crafted a novel of rare brilliance which highlights the divisions within a family and their struggles within their city.”
—Malcolm Forbes, The National

"The Baghdad Eucharist is an intimate story of love, memory and anguish in one Christian family."
—Marcia Lynx Qualey, Arabic Literature (in English) Blog

"A beautiful text, a testimony of the time of mud and blood that besieges Iraq and the Arab East . . . in very moving language, this Iraqi novelist writes his country with the ink of pain."
—Elias Khoury, author of Gate of the Sun

"[A] panoramic view of Iraq, its history, its iconography and its bitter present. . . Antoon is fast becoming not only the voice of the disaffections of modern Iraq, but also one of the most acclaimed authors of the Arab world.”
—Al-Ahram Weekly

"The first novel to broach the tragedy of Iraqi Christians. . . narrating Iraq’s wounds in a beautiful language."



Sinan Antoon

Sinan Antoon is an award-winning poet, novelist, and translator. He was born in Iraq, and moved to the US in 1991 after the Gulf War. He received his PhD from Harvard University and is currently associate professor of Arabic literature at New York University. He is a co-founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya.

Maia Tabet is a literary translator, journalist, and editor, who has translated prominent authors such as Elias Khoury. She was born in Beirut and is currently based in Baltimore in the US.

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  • April 1st 2017
  • $14.95 / £9.99 / LE200
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9789774168208

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