The challenge of writing about war is to take stories and experiences that are almost beyond language and put them down on paper.
Take part in an intimate evening showcasing recent work by two extraordinary writers, who will discuss how and why they grapple with writing about the harrowing reality of war.
British-Pakistani writer and The New York Times columnist, Mohammed Hanif will discuss his latest satirical novel, Red Birds. This dark comedy sheds light on the ugliness of war by following the unlikely journey of a teenage refugee and a philosopher dog.
Palestinian-Syrian writer and human rights activist Kassem Eid will introduce, My Country: A Syrian Memoir, a book that recounts his experiences in the Syrian Civil War where he joined the free Syrian Army and experienced the 2013 sarin gas in attack in Ghouta first-hand.
This event is presented in partnership with UNSWriting and Adelaide Writers' Week and supported by the Goethe-Institut.
Kassem Eid is a Syrian refugee and human rights activist who survived arrest in al-Assad’s regime, a chemical weapons attack that shocked the world, and the siege of a city where he fought with the Syrian rebel army. In 2014 he went on a speaking tour across the United States and testified before the United Nations Security Council about the atrocities in his country. He has contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and was interviewed on 60 Minutes.
Mohammed Hanif was born in Okara, Pakistan. He graduated from the Pakistan Air Force Academy, but soon left to pursue a career in journalism. His first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel. His second novel, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti, was shortlisted for the 2012 Wellcome Prize. He writes regularly for The New York Times, BBC Urdu, and BBC Punjabi.