Planet of Clay (Paperback)
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR TRANSLATED LITERATURE
"Planet of Clay is a devastating novel about human resilience and fragility in a time of war." --Foreword Reviews, starred review
"Brave, rebellious and passionate ... Yazbek is no ordinary Syrian dissident." --Financial Times
Rima, a young girl from Damascus, longs to walk, to be free to follow the will of her feet, but instead is perpetually constrained. Rima finds refuge in a fantasy world full of colored crayons, secret planets, and The Little Prince, reciting passages of the Qur'an like a mantra as everything and everyone around her is blown to bits. Since Rima hardly ever speaks, people think she's crazy, but she is no fool--the madness is in the battered city around her. One day while taking a bus through Damascus, a soldier opens fire and her mother is killed. Rima, wounded, is taken to a military hospital before her brother leads her to the besieged area of Ghouta--where, between bombings, she writes her story. In Planet of Clay, Samar Yazbek offers a surreal depiction of the horrors taking place in Syria, in vivid and poetic language and with a sharp eye for detail and beauty.
About the Author
Samar Yazbek is a Syrian writer, novelist, and journalist. She was born in Jableh in 1970 and studied literature before beginning her career as a journalist and a scriptwriter for Syrian television and film. Her novels include Child of Heaven, Clay, Cinnamon, In Her Mirrors, and Planet of Clay. Her accounts of the Syrian conflict include A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution and The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria. Yazbek's work has been translated into multiple languages and has been recognized with numerous awards--notably, the French Best Foreign Book Award, the PEN-Oxfam Novib, PEN Tucholsky, and PEN Pinter awards.