A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi
As she did in The Secret Sky, Atia Abawi creates a compelling portrait of a young Arab living in the complex world of Western Asia. A Land of Permanent Goodbyes paints in vivid detail the story of Tareq. When a bomb strikes his Syrian city, he is forced to flee with his surviving father and four-year-old sister. They travel through Syria to Turkey, then across the treacherous Aegean Sea to Greece. Members of this shattered family are separated only to be reunited several times, suffer deprivation, and struggle with unrelenting fear.
Destiny is an omniscient narrator, sometimes recalling the past or foretelling events in the future. This voice occasionally breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the audience, usually to comment or editorialize. The introductory pages of the story include interesting time shifts, featuring Tareq's jarring flashbacks as he recalls gruesome details from his young life.
The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance. Richard Price
Reading about Tragic Events
I will never look at the refugee crisis in the same way. This book changed me.