Samar Yazbek ‘Never Dreamed She Would Have to Write a Book Like This’

On July 1, Samar Yazbek appeared at London’s Frontline Club as part of the launch of her second memoir, The Crossingtranslated by Nashwa Gowanlock and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp:

frontlineYazbek spoke at the event with Syrian writer and broadcaster Rana Kabbani, who noted in her introduction that Yazbek — who is a novelist and TV writer — “she never dreamed she would have to write a book like this.” The Crossing is Yazbek’s second war memoir, following Woman in the Crossfire, trans. Max Weiss. A review in The Observer likened this second memoir to George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. Yazbek “still gives us the novelist’s touch,” Kabbani said.

“This book has moved us more than any newsreel,” Kabbani said. Newsreels, she said, are a thing Yazbek “has rightly described as something that Westerners consume and then throw out with the rubbish.”

“Between the two books,” Yazbek said, “was the beginning of the revolution and the beginning of the destruction of the revolution.”

From The Observer:

REVIEW: Samar Yazbek: ‘Syria has been hung, drawn and quartered’

EXCERPT: ‘The barbed wire mauled my back as I crawled between the two countries. Then I ran…

Yazbek’s talk at the FrontLine Club: