Remorse Test is Sweileh’s follow up to his novel Writing Love, which was the 2009 winner of The Mahfouz Medal for Literature. This semi-autobiographical novel, takes readers through the streets of Damascus and offers a first-hand look at life and loss during the Syrian civil war. The protagonist is a brilliant writer who is navigating a new, war-torn reality. While reminiscing about his past, he shows us what everyday life is like in Damascus—at once brutal and boring—and laments the missed opportunities and destruction the conflict has caused in his country. Drawing on his experience as a journalist, poet and novelist, author Khalil Sweileh writes about the psychological conflicts amid the shattered reality of place and society using language that is full of imagery. Remorse Test is an important addition to Syrian literature, both for its subject matter and unique use of narrative tools and vocabulary.
(An extended English-language report on this book will be available soon.)
Winner of the 2018 Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature
Khalil Sweileh was born in 1959, in the city of Hasaka, Syria. Sweileh’s portfolio includes multiple works in poetry including Prefaces, That Was the Scene, and Tracing the Marks. He has also written numerous novels including Writing Love, Express Mail, The Gazelle Will Come to You, and The Barbarians’ Paradise. In addition to his fiction and poetry, Sweileh is a renowned journalist. He has won a number of literary and journalism awards, including the Arab Journalism Award (2010), and The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for Writing Love (2009)—which was translated into English and published by the American University in Cairo Press.