A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution (Paperback)

Diaries of the Syrian Revolution

By Samar Yazbek, Max Weiss (Translator)

Haus Pub., 9781908323125, 270pp.

Publication Date: August 28, 2012



A well-known novelist and journalist from the coastal city of Jableh, Samar Yazbek witnessed the beginning four months of the uprising first-hand and actively participated in a variety of public actions and budding social movements. Throughout this period she kept a diary of personal reflections on, and observations of, this historic time. Because of the outspoken views she published in print and online, Yazbek quickly attracted the attention and fury of the regime, vicious rumours started to spread about her disloyalty to the homeland and the Alawite community to which she belongs. The lyrical narrative describes her struggle to protect herself and her young daughter, even as her activism propels her into a horrifying labyrinth of insecurity after she is forced into living on the run and detained multiple times, excluded from the Alawite community and renounced by her family, her hometown and even her childhood friends. With rare empathy and journalistic prowess Samar Yazbek compiled oral testimonies from ordinary Syrians all over the country. Filled with snapshots of exhilarating hope and horrifying atrocities, she offers us a wholly unique perspective on the Syrian uprising. Hers is a modest yet powerful testament to the strength and commitment of countless unnamed Syrians who have united to fight for their freedom. These diaries will inspire all those who read them, and challenge the world to look anew at the trials and tribulations of the Syrian uprising.

About the Author

Samar Yazbek is a Syrian writer and journalist, born in Jableh in 1970. She is the author of several works of fiction. An outspoken critic of the Assad regime, but also of what she identifies as erroneous perceptions of ideological conformity within the Syrian Alawite community, Yazbek has been deeply involved in the Syrian uprising since it broke out in March, 2011. Fearing for the life of her daughter she was forced to flee her country and now lives in hiding. Yazbek was awarded the PEN/Pinter International Writer of Courage Award in 2012, awarded to an author of outstanding literary merit who casts an 'unflinching' eye on the world. She is also the author of the novel Cinnamon (2012).

Praise For A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution

"An essential eyewitness account, and with luck an inaugural document in a Syrian literature that is uncensored and unchained."Kirkus Reviews

"She has the novelist's eye for telling detailHers is the urgent task of showing the world what is happening. Thanks to her, we can read about the appalling things that go on in secret, underground places."The Guardian

"Her book is infused with a hauntingly poetic narrative style. Chilling, disturbing, but irresistibly compelling."The Daily Star

"Four new books confront the [Syrian] revolution head-onOf the four writers, Samar Yazbek provides the most arresting, novelistic proseuncompromising reportage from a doomed capital."The Spectator

"Impassioned and harrowing memoir of the early revolt"New York Review of Books

"The heartbreaking diary ofa Syrian who risked her life to document the regime's brutal attacks on peaceful demonstrators."The Inquirer

"Its importance is in its existence, the effort of so many Syrians to share their stories and Yazbek's own courage and ability to record them."The National

"It's heavy and horrible, like so much related to the war. But the book also reminds that Syria iswasutterly beautiful."CNN

'If you want to put a face on the Syrian revolution, try an activist named Samar Yazbekshe’s a walking refutation of the argument that the conflict in Syria is simply a sectarian civil war between Assad’s Alawites and the Sunni majority. David Ignatius, Washington Post