Book of Sands

(a novel of the Arab Uprising)

Winner of the HarperCollins Publishers/ UBC Best New Fiction Prize

A CBC Best Book of the Year 2015 / Walrus Foundation shortlisted First Novel Award 2016

“Here is the modern Middle East you can’t get from the news: its politics and faith, its beauty and corruption, its magic and myth, its hatreds and its loves. Alrawi’s extraordinary novel reminds us what fiction, at its very best, is for.”

--Annabel Lyon, award-winning author of The Sweet Girl

"Richly textured and emotionally intelligent, Karim Alrawi’s powerful debut novel mines, without moralizing or admonishing, the depths of brutality and of love."

-- Tasneem Jamal, author of Where The Air is Sweet

“In this elegiac and thoughtful novel, luminous with rich details, Karim Alrawi takes us on a journey to a place that is at once instantly familiar yet infused with complexity.  It is rare for a writer to convey such a sense of intimacy and poignancy while maintaining a detached eye that allows us to see unfolding historical events not as set pieces but as part of a larger vista of sacrifices and survival.  A meditation on the resilience of the human spirit in a tumultuous world.”

-- Rabindranath Maharaj, award-winning author of The Amazing Absorbing Boy

Although Book of Sands is set against the backdrop of the Arab Spring of 2011, the novel is not only about a social and political revolution, but also about the determination to live honestly and with grace in the midst of chaos, and about the duty and connection of family ... Alrawi’s writing is like the fine pattern of a Turkish carpet or the filigreed script on the interior of a mosque: it is beautiful, it is enduring and it has meaning.”

-- HarperCollins/ UBC Prize for Best New Fiction, Jury Citation.

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