'A complex tale of revolution, displacement, delusional love' Guardian
In Damascus, Suleima and Naseem's relationship is torn apart by the outbreak of civil war. With Naseem now seeking refuge in Germany, he sends Suleima the unfinished manuscript of his novel - and what she reads will throw her entire identity into question. Who is the unnamed woman in the book, and just what is Naseem trying to say? In search of answers, Suleima must confront what has happened to her family, to her country, and start to make sense of who she is.
Told with riveting immediacy, this is an intimate portrayal of living with fear from an electrifying new voice in international fiction.
'A shocking journey through the realities of life under the Assad regime' TLS
‘THE FRIGHTENED ONES eloquently locates the crux of the Syrian experience, during a time of brutal repression. In this brilliant novel, Dima Wannous tells us the story of the revolution through the voices of two women . . . With its economy of language, this captivating novel leaves us astounded by the ability of literature to create beauty amidst pain.’
'A complex tale of revolution, displacement, delusional love . . . most memorable in surreal details and glancing tales. The analyst Kamil emerges as the novel’s quiet hero – strangely reminiscent of Dr Rieux in Camus’s The Plague'
The nerve-stretching tension and horror of life in Assad’s Syria is conveyed in this cunningly constructed novel… [The Frightened Ones] shortlisted for the Arabic International Prize for Literature, examines how fear strangles lives. It’s brutal and unsettling
A brilliant and terrifying split-personality novel... The novel is full of vivid and terrifying descriptions of the effects of fear
An eerie and sharp-eyed vision of love, anxiety, and family, and it is beautifully translated