Friday, March 26, 2021

Seven books about life in the aftermath of revolution & civil war

Layla AlAmmar is a writer and academic from Kuwait. She has a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh. Her short stories have appeared in the Evening Standard, Quail Bell Magazine, the Red Letters St. Andrews Prose Journal, and Aesthetica Magazine, where her story "The Lagoon" was a finalist for the 2014 Creative Writing Award. She was the 2018 British Council international writer in residence at the Small Wonder Short Story Festival. Her debut novel, The Pact We Made, was published in 2019. She has written for The Guardian and ArabLit Quarterly. She is currently pursuing a PhD on the intersection of Arab women's fiction and literary trauma theory.

AlAmmar's new novel is Silence Is a Sense.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven books about life in the aftermath of revolution and civil war, including:
Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa, translated by Leri Price

A finalist for the National Book Awards, this novel is set during the civil war that followed the failure of the Arab Spring uprisings in Syria, which has resulted in immeasurable violence and one of the most severe humanitarian crises of our time. The narrative takes the form of a road trip, where three siblings are tasked with fulfilling their father’s dying wish to be buried in his ancestral village. What follows is a multi-day journey across Syria by van with the decomposing corpse, during which the siblings reflect on their history as well as the fractured state of their country. The absurdity of war is sharply brought into focus with moments of dark humor, such as when guards at one of the many checkpoints recognize the corpse and attempt to arrest it for crimes against the regime (the father had been a rebel leader).
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue