Born in 1970 in Jable, Syria, Samar Yazbek studied literature before beginning her career as a journalist and a script writer for Syrian television and cinema. She currently lives in Paris.
Yazbek was an active participant in “Women Initiative Organization”, dedicated to the defense of women’s and children’s rights. She was involved in “Liberties”, a center which defends the freedom of speech for journalists in Syria. She also was the editor of “Women of Syria”, an electronic magazine and free observatory that focuses on women, children and community in Syria. Such issues are at the heart of her literary work, and for this reason her books have been controversial and severely criticized by the regime.
In 2011 Samar Yazbek was the first to publish an account of the Syrian uprising’s first four months, “In the crossfire: A diary of the Syrian revolution”, where she carefully documented the protests and the repression, recorded valuable testimonies, and described her personal despair. In 2012, The book was awarded the PEN Pinter award in the UK and the Pen Tucholsky prize in Sweden. In 2013, the book was awarded the PEN Oxfam Novib prize in the Netherlands. It was translated into French (Buchet-Chastel), English (Haus), German (Nigel & Kimche, Hanser), Dutch (Nigh & Ditmar) and Turkish (Timas). Cinnamon and In her mirrors were translated into Italian (Castelvecchi). Cinnamon was also translated into English (Arabia books, Haus), French (Buchet-Chastel), German (Nagel & Kimche, Hanser, to appear), Swedish (Ordfront, to appear) and Norwegian (Cappelen Damm, to appear).
The blue pen | Al macha’a
The crossing | Buwabat ard al aadam – view details
In the crossfire | Taqatoo niran – view details
In her mirrors | Laha maraya – view details
Cinnamon | Ra’ihat al-Qirfa – view details
Clay | Silsal – view details