In his book, Tichý abruptly dissects Swedish society, revealing its contradictions and everyday struggles that the Swedish people confront regarding their very existence.
Wretchedness analyses both social and political reality in a wealthy and diverse European society, introducing a deeper and closer view of those who immigrated to Sweden as a utopia in the 1970s, only to be shocked by a reality that goes totally against what they aspire.
Through the eyes of a musician in Malmö, the reader encounters the wretchedness of teenagers who once dreamed of justice and peace but now sink into the dark world of drugs and sexual abuse. The so-called “Paradise” where the Eastern European planned to raise their children just turns to be a “Human Dump.”
The novel, for its unique literary structure rich in stormy timelines and polyphonic technique, sparked global reactions. Its flowing narration full of youth slang and street language requires an aware as well as sensitive Arabic; something that Abdel-Wahab and Helal managed to highlight in their work.
Abdel-Wahab is a translator and founder of an academic translation project that is concerned with Scandinavian language and literature.