Doubleday Ireland wins Aldarra memoir in three-way auction

Doubleday Ireland wins Aldarra memoir in three-way auction

Doubleday Ireland has triumphed in a three-way auction for Suad Aldarra’s “powerful” memoir I Don’t Want To Talk About Home.

Editorial director Fiona Murphy acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Doug Young at PEW Literary. Doubleday Ireland will publish in spring 2022.

Aldarra was born in Saudi Arabia to Syrian parents and moved to Syria in 2003 to study software engineering. In 2012 she fled the war, travelling first to a post-Arab Spring Egypt and then to Galway, Ireland, in 2014. She lived and worked between Galway and New York until Donald Trump’s travel ban and then chose to settle in Dublin where she lives now. I Don’t Want to Talk About Home tells the story of that journey.

The publisher explained: “This is not a memoir about war and destruction. It’s not about camps or boats. It’s about what came before and how to build a life out of the rubble. It’s about those left behind, the sacrifices made, and the parts of yourself you lose when integrating into a new world and culture. In I Don’t Want to Talk about Home Suad Aldarra portrays a rarely seen and vitally important nuanced and honest portrait of the Syrian experience over the last decade.”

Murphy added: “From the first page I was blown away by the power of Suad’s writing. I Don’t Want to Talk About Home reframes the Syrian migrant narrative and forces us to re-examine how we perceive these stories. Though it is in part a book about fleeing a war, it is also a story of womanhood, of identity, and of complex relationships with religion and with family. Passionate, eye-opening and deeply moving, Suad Aldarra is an exciting new writer to watch.”

Aldarra commented: “I've been carrying my troubled homeland within me for a long time, hiding it like a crime every time someone asked where I was from. When the pandemic hit, I found myself trapped in a lockdown inside a lockdown, having to face my darkest memories. This book was my way of healing, discovering myself again between its lines while trying to accept the home that no longer exists.

“As a first-time non-English native writer and someone who is not very known to the media, I was overwhelmed by publishers' passionate responses to the book proposal. It all feels surreal and heart-warming, like a thousand hugs. I am glad my book found a home with Doubleday, and I can't wait for it to see the light. I hope this book speaks to everyone who struggles with finding a place to call home – you are not alone.”