States of Passion


Sirees spins astonishing literary beauty out of this tangled web of family secrets, and he writes with great humour and warmth about the conflict between past and present in thissurprising and unique novel about a lost world.

He is transported by these stories to Aleppo’s golden age – a time of art, music, wealth and laughter – and the all-female society of the binat al-`ishreh, a society of women who live, love, and perform song and dance together. And as he gradually realises how these entanglements of love and passion, cruelty and resentment, stretch across the generations, he discovers that his own life is also in danger.
A hapless Aleppo bureaucrat is stranded in the middle of the deserted countryside as a violent storm sets in. When he seeks refuge in an isolated old mansion, inhabited by an aged gentleman and his sinister servant, he begins to uncover a captivating tale of family secrets, lost passions, and shady dealings.

Publisher: Pushkin Press, 06/09/2018

Translated by  Max Weiss


Financial Times: States of Passion by Nihad Sirees — dance of desire:

The National: Nihad Sirees’s new novel is a study in storytelling set in the golden age of Syria

A Life in Books: States of Passion by Nihad Sirees (transl. Max Weiss): A tale of old Aleppo