Set in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk during the 1950s, "The Last of the Angels" tells the slyly humorous tale of three strikingly different people in one small neighborhood: the revolutionary Hameed Nylon, the butcher Khidir Musa, and a young boy named Burhan Abdullah who discovers an old chest that lets him talk to angels. By turns satiric, picaresque, and apocalyptic, the novel paints a loving and elegiac portrait of Kirkuk in the final years of Iraq's monarchy - a moving tale of growing up in a dangerous world.
Fadhil al-Azzawi was born in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 1940. He holds a Ph.D. in cultural journalism from the University of Leipzig and is the author of several novels and collections of poetry. In Iraq, he was a member of the "Kirkuk Group" of poets of the 1960s generation. He has lived in Germany since 1977. William Hutchins is the principal translator of Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy (AUC Press, 1989-92), and has most recently translated Ibrahim al-Mazini's Ten Again and other stories (AUC Press, 2006).