The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria

By: Samar Yazbek Translated by: Nashwa Gowanlock and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp Published: Rider Books (Penguin Random House) 2015 Reviews ‘The Crossing is not simply reportage or political analysis. It bears comparison with George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia as a work of literature. Yazbek is a superb narrator who knows how to pace her text, craft dialogue and convey a universal sense of grief; this is how she crosses … Continue reading The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria

Political satire from Lucien Bourjeily and a short story by Samar Yazbek

I had two translations in this edition of Index on Censorship magazine. Lebanese political satire When writer Lucien Bourjeily made censorship the theme of his latest play, he knew he was in for a battle. And he was right. His play about censorship ended up being banned. Not surprisingly, he thinks this decision tells its own story about Lebanon today. In this extract from Will It Pass or … Continue reading Political satire from Lucien Bourjeily and a short story by Samar Yazbek

Samar Yazbek in The Washington Post

I am two women. They stand head to head, at loggerheads.  The revolutionary in me joined what started as peaceful demonstrations against the Syrian government in March 2011.  The novelist in me fled to France that July.  The revolutionary, who has several times since then furtively crossed the border back into her country, is steeped in the smell of blood. She wipes the dust off … Continue reading Samar Yazbek in The Washington Post