‘Brimful of magic, Sarmada is a book to be swallowed in raptuous gulps.’
A world away from Damascus, in the remote hills of Syria, lies Sarmada, a Druze village effervescent with a strange magic that lives in the people and this strange landscape. For though the country itself struggles against the forces of the Ottoman Empire, the French Empire, and then the Ba’ath, in the village is the forces of society, family and passion that are all important.
In the rocky isolation of Sarmada words take on new meanings and people take on new forms, as sex and fantasy, transmigrating souls, potions and soothsayers all conspire to bring about remarkable transitions.
The stories of its history are told and re-told by the women who live there, who are both its protagonists and its protectors and who risk their lives to follow their hearts.
FADI AZZAM is an author and an acclaimed print and broadcast journalist. He published a collection of short stories, Tahtaniyat, in 2010. Sarmada is his first novel.
ADAM TALIB is the translator of Khairy Shalaby’s The Hashish Waiter and Mekkawi Said’s Cairo Swan Song.