Borough Press buys novel inspired by refugee crisis

Borough Press buys novel inspired by refugee crisis

HarperFiction literary imprint The Borough Press has acquired a "unique perspective" on the effects of the Syrian War, An Unsafe Haven by Nada Awar Jarrar.

Thought to be part of "a new wave of fiction and non fiction giving voice to the refugee crisis", the novel explores the effects of the Syrian war through the eyes of four characters and is positioned as a "stirring, poignant story", set in modern Beirut.

It follows Weidenfeld & Nicolson's announcement last week to publish Jonathan Dean's family history and "meditation on what it means to be a refugee", I Must Belong Somewhere, due 2017.

Cassie Browne, commissioning editor for The Borough Press, acquired UK and Commonwealth (with exclusive Europe) rights to the novel from Toby Eady. An Unsafe Haven is the latest novel by Commonwealth Writers Prize winner Nada Awar Jarrar. 

Browne said: “I am extremely proud to be publishing Nada Awar Jarrar’s An Unsafe Haven. Her unique perspective on contemporary Lebanon and the effects of the Syrian war has produced an extraordinarily eloquent novel about the struggles of a region that are lived out in the daily routines of Beirut’s people. The sense of utter displacement woven through is keenly felt, and makes for a heartrending reading experience. This is a novel written with courage and sensitivity and we are very proud to be publishing next year.”

Jarrar was born in Lebanon to an Australian mother and Lebanese father, and lives in Beirut. Her debut novel Somewhere Home won the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 2004.

Borough will publish in September 2016.