2020 Longlist

Sophia, or The Beginning of all Tales


Translated from the German by Monique Arav and John Hannon

2020 Longlist

As a young girl, Sophia falls deeply in love with Karim, but weds a rich goldsmith instead. A few years later, Karim is accused of an assassination he did not commit and Sophia saves his life. He promises that she will forever have his loyalty, no matter the risk to himself. Long after the incident is buried in memory, Sophia’s only son, Salman, returns to Damascus after forty years of exile in Italy; when his photo appears in the newspaper, he is forced into hiding and fears for his life. Remembering Karim’s promise, Sophia decides to call on him for help in spite of the many years that have passed, and the lost opportunity of their once-consuming passion.

About the Author

Rafik Schami was born in Damascus and studied in Germany where he became a leading German novelist and a pivotal figure in the European migrant literature movement. He has received the Hermann Hesse Prize and he was the 2010 Winner of the Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for The Dark Side of Love.

Librarian’s Comments

Rafik Schami is one of the most successful Syrian authors and has been living in Germany for 45 years. His new novel is a portrait of the coexistence of Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Syrian capital Damaskus and deals with clan laws and fundamentalist terror. The novel describes people’s feelings in an oppressive society from different perspectives and biographic retrospection.  Stadtbibliothek Bremen, Germany




Interlink Publishing


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