May 2012 | Nate Pedersen

Saddam Hussein's Memoirs

The Guardian reported yesterday that Saddam Hussein's daughter, Raghad Saddam Hussein, is seeking a publisher for her father's hand-written memoirs. Raghad apparently has the documents with her in exile in Jordan. Nothing has been mentioned, yet, about the contents of the work.

When published, Hussein's memoirs will be book number five for the former dictator. He was also the purported author of four novels, although whether the books were ghostwritten or not remains controversial. His first, "Zabiba and the King," was published in 2001. The second, "Walled Fortress," was published the same year. The third, "Men and the City" came out in 2002, and the fourth, "Get Out, You Damned One," in 2005. Hussein's novels are thinly disguised pieces of pulp propaganda, mostly concerned with heroic Arabic heroes fending off foreign invaders.

zabiba.jpg(A French edition of "Zabiba and the King")

"Zabiba and the King" is readily available in English and French editions.  The other three do not appear to have been translated into English and are quite difficult to source.

hussein novel.jpg(An Arabic edition of Hussein's "Get Out, You Damned One.")

The publication of Hussein's memoirs will ignite some of the same controversy in the Arabic world that accompanied Raghad's publication of her father's final novel in 2005.  That book, "Get Out, You Damned One," was quickly banned in Jordan, where Raghad enjoys the protection of the royal family.  The novel, however, found a lucrative new life underground, with numerous pirated copies selling on the black market.

Once published, Hussein's memoirs will join the continually expanding shelf of dictator memoirs, along with works by Hiter, Stalin, Mussolini, Nkrumah, and Mao.

Many have become quite collectable.