Syrian novelist Nihad Sirees, Brown University’s 2012-13 International Writers Project Fellow, has been named as the recipient of an English PEN Award for outstanding writing in translation for his novel, The Silence and the Roar.The novel, translated by Max Weiss of Princeton University, centers on a day in the life of Fathi Schin, a well-known author who has been banned by the authorities from writing and publishing. The day in question is the twentieth anniversary of the rise to power of the “Great Leader” who banned Schin’s work – celebrations rage in the street as Schin seeks sanctuary at home with his loved ones.
The Silence and The Roar wins the PEN award for 2013
English PEN, the literature and human rights charity, today announces that six books are to receive the 2013 English PEN Award for outstanding writing in translation.
The Award uniquely recognises translated works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry which contribute to inter-cultural understanding and promote freedom of expression. An expert panel of publishing and literature professionals, chaired by Ros Schwartz, one of Britain’s foremost specialists in literary translation, met in November to review a long list of books in translation put forward by their UK publishers.
The award-winning titles are:
VISITING WRITER - Living the power, danger of words
Life was never easy for dissident Syrian novelist Nihad Sirees. His books were banned, and he and his family were watched by government security details.
But when civil war broke out last year in Syria and tanks rolled through the streets of his hometown of Aleppo, Sirees knew it was time to leave. He packed up and headed for Cairo in January, becoming one of the 40,000 Syrian refugees who have fled to Egypt.
Self-exiled Syrian author voices criticisms of regime
Chairs were closely clustered around a table of tea and homemade baklava in the Chelovich Family Lounge of the literary arts building this Thursday. In the intimate and informal environment, Nihad Sirees read from his novel, “Silence and the Roar,” the text marked with crossed-out lines and marginal notes.
SILENCE ET TUMULTE
Robert Laffont 2012
Une journée dans la vie de Fathi Chin, écrivain célèbre interdit de publication par le Chef suprême de son pays (un pays qui pourrait être... la Syrie). Ce jour-là, on célèbre les vingt ans de pouvoir du despote : sous un soleil de feu, des milliers de personnes défilent en hurlant des slogans, des haut-parleurs braillent en boucle les discours du dictateur et les miliciens, hors d'eux, s'acharnent sur la foule. Emporté par le mouvement, harcelé par la milice, assourdi par le tintamarre, Fathi est balloté d'un lieu à un autre dans un maelström de plus en plus extravagant.