Knopf

  • WHAT STRANGE PARADISE Nouv.

    WHAT STRANGE PARADISE

    Omar El Akkad

    • Knopf
    • 20 July 2021

    B>b>From the widely acclaimed, best-selling author of /b>b>American War/b>b>: a new novel--beautifully written, unrelentingly dramatic, and profoundly moving--that brings the global refugee crisis down to the level of a child''s eyes./b>/b>br>br>More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another overfilled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk under the weight of its too many passengers: Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, all of them desperate to escape untenable lives in their homelands. And only one has made the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who has the good fortune to fall into the hands not of the officials but of Vänna: a teenage girl, native to the island, who lives inside her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain. And though she and the boy are complete strangers, though they don''t speak a common language, she determines to do whatever it takes to save him. br>br>In alternating chapters, we learn the story of the boy''s life and of how he came to be on the boat; and we follow the girl and boy as they make their way toward a vision of safety. But as the novel unfurls we begin to understand that this is not merely the story of two children finding their way through a hostile world, it is the story of our collective moment in this time: of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair--and of the way each of those things can blind us to reality, or guide us to a better one.

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