Khaled Hosseini pens 'intensely moving' refugee story

Khaled Hosseini pens 'intensely moving' refugee story

Bloomsbury has signed the latest work from Khaled Hosseini, a "lyrical and intensely moving story" entitled Sea Prayer.

The book will be published in August to mark the third anniversary of the death of the three-year-old Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi. Syrian refugee Kurdi drowned in 2015 trying to reach Europe amid the European refugee crisis.

Alexandra Pringle, group editor-in-chief at Bloomsbury, signed UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to the new title from Deneen C. Howell at Williams & Connolly.

Written in the form of a letter, Sea Prayer is a father’s reflection as he watches over his sleeping son, on the dangerous journey across the sea that lies before them. It is also an account of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone. Originally produced in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Sea Prayer was first released as a Guardian virtual film on 1st September 2017.

Hosseini said: "We are living in the midst of a displacement crisis of enormous proportions. Sea Prayer is an attempt to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Alan Kurdi’s, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution".

Pringle added that Bloomsbury was "very proud" to be working with Hosseini to create "a beautiful book from his lyrical and intensely moving story, a book to be cherished by people of all ages all over the world".

Hosseini will donate author proceeds from this book to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund life-saving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.

Hosseini is the author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed (all Bloombsury). In total, Hosseini has sold 3.96m books for £28.6m, with The Kite Runner shifting 1.22 million in paperback, according to Nielsen BookScan. In 2006 he was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.

Williams is a London-based artist whose illustrations accompanied an extract of The Kite Runner in the Guardian when it was first published 15 years ago. His work has appeared in various publications including National Geographic, Rolling Stone and the Wall Street Journal.

Sea Prayer will be published in the UK on 30th August.  It will be supporting publication with a major marketing and publicity campaign.