The Corpse Washer by Sinan Antoon (2010)Read about the other entries on the list.
According to Muslim tradition, the corpse washer prepares the bodies of the dead for burial. The Shias and Sunnis both do it, and the differences in practice are minor. This is a novel, originally written in Arabic, by a New York-based Iraqi writer who left the country in 1991. He translated it himself. No other book I’ve read takes us closer to the lives of the people there, breathing a much-needed human dimension to understanding life in Iraq.