Rodaan Al Galidi qualified as a construction engineer in Iraq. After graduating he fled Iraq to avoid military service. He has lived in the Netherlands since 1998 but it was 2007 before he became known. Meanwhile he taught himself to read and write Dutch because as an unauthorised asylum seeker he was not allowed to pursue education. He has published various novels and collections of poetry in Dutch, receiving a great deal of praise for De herfst van Zorro [Zorro’s Autumn] (2007) and the novel Dorstige rivier [Thirsty River] (2007), which have both been nominated for various literary prizes. His novel De autist en de postduif [The Autist and the Carrier-Pigeon] (2009) was awarded the prestigious European Union Prize for literature in 2011, the year in which he failed his citizenship course. His sixth novel, Hoe ik talent voor het leven kreeg [How I Found Talent for Life] (2016), was very well received. His work has been translated into more than ten languages.
Hans Schiler, 2016
Translated by Stefan Wieczorek
Original title: Koelkastlicht (Jurgen Maas, 2016)
Have you ever felt stuck in your own fears, or desertion? Powerless, incapable of finding a way out? Then you will understand this volume.
One evening, the fridge door was ajar. The light surveyed the darkness of the room, a light trapped in desperation and darkness, that could only rise because of its own perseverance, to travel the universe. Fridge Light is a hymn to hope. A song for the heart.
I cling to you, life,
like the root the earth
and you travel through me
like the sky the branches
Rodaan Al Galidi is a novelist and poet. His poetry volume Zorro’s Autumn was shortlisted for the VSB Poetry Prize and his novel Thirsty River for the BNG New Literature Prize. In 2011, his novel The Autist and the Carrier-pidgeon was awarded the prestigious European Union Prize for Literature. His most recent novel, How I Found a Talent for Life, was released in 2015 and became an instant bestseller in the Netherlands.