Book Size: 5.25" x 8"

Pages: 192

Format: Hardback & Paperback

ISBN: 9781566568722 HB
ISBN: 9781566568623 PB

Imprint: Interlink Books

Edition: 1

Translator: Tristan Cranfield

Release date: 01/11/11

Category:

Sarmada

By

Paperback $ 15.00 | Hardback $ 25.00

“[T]he gem of the Arabic literature of dissent… [Sarmada] isn’t narrowly political and doesn’t paint a portrait of the uprisings themselves. Instead, it gives us something much more valuable: a detailed view of the entire mechanism of a culture- its connection to the land, its way of telling stories, and its idiosyncrasies. … Channeling Marquez and Borges, Azzam winds the plot audaciously, bringing the story to highly surreal and disquieting places.” – The New Yorker’s “Book Bench”

About this book

Sarmada, Arabic for "perpetuate" or "the eternally-not-changed," is the novel's fictitious setting.

In the title, Fadi Azzam creates a new word (a derivative female form of noun-verb, which does not exist in Arabic) and in so doing immediately lets the reader know that women are the protagonists of this story that spans several generations, from Syria to Paris and back again.

The novel is set in the Druze area and is a declaration of love for tolerance and for the peaceful coexistence of the many religious groups that live in close proximity. Myths, communists, nationalists, murder, illicit love, superstition, erotic trees and women's breasts make up the tapestry of this strange, beautifully written, first novel.

Fadi Azzam narrates, just as he writes poetry: Sarmada is direct, ruthless and full of fire.

Brand:

About the author

Fadi Azzam was born in 1973 in Swaida, Southern Syria. He is an acclaimed freelance journalist and the author of Thahtaniat, a collection of short stories.

Reviews

“[T]he gem of the Arabic literature of dissent… [Sarmada] isn’t narrowly political and doesn’t paint a portrait of the uprisings themselves. Instead, it gives us something much more valuable: a detailed view of the entire mechanism of a culture- its connection to the land, its way of telling stories, and its idiosyncrasies. … Channeling Marquez and Borges, Azzam winds the plot audaciously, bringing the story to highly surreal and disquieting places.” – The New Yorker’s “Book Bench”

“With Sarmada, Fadi Azzam proves to us that there are still undiscovered gems in Arabic literature” beautiful writing, long stifled by dictatorship, has just begun to free itself from the grips of censorship. Sarmada and its women dance in front of us with all their senses; they take us by the hand and escort us into their village homes, where the events of this great novel take place.” – Rafik Schami author of The Dark Side of Love

“Sarmada’s magic lingers in the mind and its astonishing images gradually build ‘fortification against the meaninglessness of life.’ ‘Words make us free’ and Azzam’s work bears testimony to this belief.” – Warscapes

“Places have moods, this novel reminds us. Sometimes Sarmada, a mountain village rising from the Hauran plain of southern Syria, is all ‘oblivion, dust and tedium’; at other times it’s a shimmering delight, each rock, tree, spring, cliff and cave owning rich histories. Sarmada is also ‘a Sheherazade,’ a generator of tales… Brimful of magic, Sarmada is a book to be swallowed in rapturous gulps. It’s beautifully written and, save the rare plunge into cliche, beautifully translated by Adam Talib. The major theme- frustrated and unleashed libido- slides only once towards porn mode. This is a very Syrian novel, illustrating sectarian co-existence and providing glimpses of the country’s mystical and literary wonders. Political history is integrated smoothly into the narrative. Azzam’s criticism of dictatorship is scathingly precise. There’s a devastating portrait of a Baathist faux-intellectual: a child-hating headmaster who arranges to have a boy tortured. Sarmada is, indirectly, an early novel of the contemporary Arab revolutions. Liberty, Azzam hints, must break out as surely as smothered sexuality. ‘All it takes is one breeze to make dust the ruler of the place.'” – The Independent

Additional information

Author

Azzam, Fadi

Edition

1

Inprint

Interlink Books

Pages

192

Translator

Cranfield , Tristan

Release date

01/11/11

Author Home

Syria

Format

5.25" x 8"

Reviews

"[T]he gem of the Arabic literature of dissent… [Sarmada] isn't narrowly political and doesn't paint a portrait of the uprisings themselves. Instead , it gives us something much more valuable: a detailed view of the entire mechanism of a culture- its connection to the land , its way of telling stories , and its idiosyncrasies. … Channeling Marquez and Borges , Azzam winds the plot audaciously , bringing the story to highly surreal and disquieting places."å – The New Yorker's "Book Bench" "å¢ "With Sarmada , Fadi Azzam proves to us that there are still undiscovered gems in Arabic literature" beautiful writing , long stifled by dictatorship , has just begun to free itself from the grips of censorship. Sarmada and its women dance in front of us with all their senses; they take us by the hand and escort us into their village homes , where the events of this great novel take place."å – Rafik Schami author of The Dark Side of Love "å¢ "Sarmada's magic lingers in the mind and its astonishing images gradually build 'fortification against the meaninglessness of life.' 'Words make us free' and Azzam's work bears testimony to this belief." – Warscapes "å¢ "Places have moods , this novel reminds us. Sometimes Sarmada , a mountain village rising from the Hauran plain of southern Syria , is all 'oblivion , dust and tedium'; at other times it's a shimmering delight , each rock , tree , spring , cliff and cave owning rich histories. Sarmada is also 'a Sheherazade , ' a generator of tales" Brimful of magic , Sarmada is a book to be swallowed in rapturous gulps. It's beautifully written and , save the rare plunge into cliche , beautifully translated by Adam Talib. The major theme- frustrated and unleashed libido- slides only once towards porn mode". This is a very Syrian novel , illustrating sectarian co-existence and providing glimpses of the country's mystical and literary wonders. Political history is integrated smoothly into the narrative. Azzam's criticism of dictatorship is scathingly precise. There's a devastating portrait of a Baathist faux-intellectual: a child-hating headmaster who arranges to have a boy tortured. Sarmada is , indirectly , an early novel of the contemporary Arab revolutions. Liberty , Azzam hints , must break out as surely as smothered sexuality. 'All it takes is one breeze to make dust the ruler of the place.'"å – The Independent

MainReview

"[T]he gem of the Arabic literature of dissent… [Sarmada] isn't narrowly political and doesn't paint a portrait of the uprisings themselves. Instead, it gives us something much more valuable: a detailed view of the entire mechanism of a culture- its connection to the land, its way of telling stories, and its idiosyncrasies. … Channeling Marquez and Borges, Azzam winds the plot audaciously, bringing the story to highly surreal and disquieting places."å – The New Yorker's "Book Bench"

Cover

Paperback, Hardback