‘The Wind’s abode’: Samar Yazbek, the martyred mountain – By Hala Kodmani, Libération

6 March 2023 16 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

TheWindsAbode-FRA review by Hala Kodmani, for Libération, January 22nd, 2023


A look back at the war in Syria through the eyes of a soldier from the pro-Bashar al-Assad forces.

(…) This novel has everything from (Rimbaud’s) “Sleeper of the Valley”. Except that Ali is lying at the foot of an oak in a wood in the Syrian coastal mountain. Yazbek’s hero in The Wind’s Abode isn’t sure he is dead. Alone on the ground, his eyes blurred and his mind confused, he attends a funeral, not knowing if it is his own or that of his brother, killed in the war the year before.


This is undoubtedly the first time that Samar Yazbek, dissident and activist against the Syrian regime since the 2011 revolution, immerses us in the world of “loyalists” (…) The novelist, who has been exiled in France for the past ten years, had previously looked into the horrors of war essentially through the fate of the Regime’s opponents, and especially women opponents. But through the character of the bruised young soldier, through his emotions, sensations and family memories, she restores the humanity of those who up until now, are only seen as the brutal forces of the regime.


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