In addition to co-editing Jadaliyya and servine as an associate professor of Arabic Literature at New York University, Sinan Antoon is an interntionally recognized novelist, poet, and translator. Most recently, The Guardian published a list of ten books about Iraq that the list author Derek B. Miller argued were important to keeping developments in Iraq central more than thirteen years after the 2003 US war on Iraq and twety-five years after the 1991 Gulf War. Writing about Antoon`s novel, Miller said the following:
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.
The Corpse Washer was originally published in Arabic in 2010 (Dar al-Jamal) as Wahdaha Shajarat al-Rumman, and translated by the author into English. It was longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2014 and won the 2014 Banipal Saif Ghobash Literary Translation Award. A French translation is forthcoming later this year from Actes Sud.