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The Boy From Aleppo Who Painted The War

The Boy From Aleppo Who Painted The War
Sumia Sukkar

Now available in paperback, Sumia Sukkar's The Boy From Aleppo Who Painted The War is about a 14-year-old boy with Asperger Syndrome who attempts to understand the Syrian conflict and its effect on his life by painting his feelings. Yasmine, his beautiful older sister, devotes herself to him, but has to cope with her own traumas when she is taken by soldiers. Their three brothers also struggle – on whether or not to take sides and the consequences of their eventual choices.

The book has recently been dramatised by BBC Radio 4.

Perhaps the greatest strength of The Boy from Aleppo, however, is the sustained and engaging narratorial voice. Able to ‘see’ emotions as colours and interpret the world and those who inhabit it through a spectrum of moods and atmospheres, Adam has an old-beyond-his-years logic which often comes to sound like wisdom as he does battle with the routine-shattering events around him, attempting to make sense of not only those events, but also the sometimes– to him – unpredictable reactions of his family and neighbours. - Tom Phillips

The Boy From Aleppo Who Painted The War is the powerful and deeply moving debut novel from 21-year- old Sumia Sukkar. It chronicles the intimate sufferings of a family in the midst of civil war with uncommon compassion, wit and imaginative force. Told mainly from a challenged young man’s perspective, it achieves the timeless dignity of a true report from an unpredictable and frightening place. It will take its place among the list of necessary books to read about how we preserve love and beauty during brutal times.

The story is sure to become a beloved classic, as it follows in the footsteps of other novels touching on the lives of young people during war. “Writing my timely novel was a way for me to express my grief towards the tragedies of what’s happening in my country,” says Sumia. “Readers will find it interesting to experience the traumatising events of war through the eyes of an innocent young autistic boy who has lived his whole life completely dependent on his family and then having to be separated from them. It contains a blend of political events, emotional drive and Arabian tradition.”

Sumia Sukkar is of Syrian and Algerian origin, but grew up in London. She has a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing from Kingston University. This is her debut novel. Follow Sumia on Twitter: @SumiaSukkar

Sumia Sukkar’s moving first novel is written with an insider’s knowledge of the land and its people. -  The Times