I am excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Silence Is a Sense by Layla AlAmmar. I received a free copy for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to Algonquin Books and Layla AlAmmar for letting me be a part of this tour and giving me the chance to read Silence Is a Sense.
Author: Layla AlAmmar
Published by: Algonquin Books
Released: March 16, 2021
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Synopsis: A profound and life-affirming debut about migration, trauma, and the healing power of community.
A young woman sits in her apartment in an unnamed English city, absorbed in watching the small dramas of her assorted neighbors through their windows across the way. Traumatized into muteness after a long, devastating trip from war-torn Syria to the UK, she believes that she wants to sink deeper into isolation, moving between memories of her absent boyfriend and family and her homeland, dreams, and reality. At the same time, she begins writing for a magazine under the pseudonym "the Voiceless," trying to explain the refugee experience without sensationalizing it—or revealing anything about herself.
Gradually, as the boundaries of her world expand—as she ventures to the neighborhood corner store, to a gathering at a nearby mosque, and to the bookstore and laundromat, and as an anti-Muslim hate crime shatters the members of a nearby mosque—she has to make a choice: Will she remain a voiceless observer, or become an active participant in her own life and in a community that, despite her best efforts, is quickly becoming her own?
With brilliant, poetic prose that captures all the fragments of this character's life, and making use of fragments of text from Tweets and emails to the narrator's own articles, journals, and fiction, Silence Is a Sense explores what it means to be a refugee and to need asylum, and how fundamental human connection is to survival. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: Powerful and Emotional are words that come to mind when thinking about Silence Is a Sense. Our narrator spends a lot of time in her own head, observing the world around her, but not really taking part in it. She makes a lot of judgements about the people she views through her window. She is also mute. Traumatized from her experiences. She also starts writing for a magazine under a pseudonym about what a refugee really feels.
What I really liked about this story is that you come to see the refugees as different people rather then a mass. They are people that left their homes for different reasons, but they might come to a place where they still don't feel welcome and safe. It's a very important story in what it covers.
This is a very important story that is very powerful and beautifully told. I'm glad I got to read it and experience it.
Layla AlAmmar is a writer and academic from Kuwait. She has a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh. Her short stories have appeared in the Evening Standard, Quail Bell Magazine, the Red Letters St. Andrews Prose Journal, and Aesthetica Magazine, where her story "The Lagoon" was a finalist for the 2014 Creative Writing Award. She was the 2018 British Council international writer in residence at the Small Wonder Short Story Festival. Her debut novel, The Pact We Made, was published in 2019. She has written for The Guardian and ArabLit Quarterly. She is currently pursuing a PhD on the intersection of Arab women's fiction and literary trauma theory.
Thank you so much for checking out my Blog Tour Stop for Silence Is a Sense by Layla AlAmmar. Thank you to Algonquin Books and Layla AlAmmar for letting me be a part of this fun tour. This book is a good one, and I'd say, Read It!