FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR TRANSLATED LITERATURE
The new novel Planet Of Clay gives a haunting and unflinching look at the horrors of war - the bombing, the starvation, the fear - all seen through the eyes of Rima, a young girl with a vibrant imagination."—NPR
"Planet of Clay is a devastating novel about human resilience and fragility in a time of war."—Foreword Reviews, starred review
Rima, a young girl from Damascus, longs to walk, to be free to follow the will of her feet, but instead is perpetually constrained. Rima finds refuge in a fantasy world full of colored crayons, secret planets, and The Little Prince, reciting passages of the Qur'an like a mantra as everything and everyone around her is blown to bits. Since Rima hardly ever speaks, people think she's crazy, but she is no fool—the madness is in the battered city around her. One day while taking a bus through Damascus, a soldier opens fire and her mother is killed. Rima, wounded, is taken to a military hospital before her brother leads her to the besieged area of Ghouta—where, between bombings, she writes her story. In Planet of Clay, Samar Yazbek offers a surreal depiction of the horrors taking place in Syria, in vivid and poetic language and with a sharp eye for detail and beauty.