Publication Date: 04/03/2021 ISBN: 9780008346652 Category:

Silence is a Sense

Layla AlAmmar

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 04/03/2021 ISBN: 9780008346652 Category:


Out of stock



‘Lyrical, moving, revealing’


‘Such beautiful writing… A little bit Rear Window, a little bit Home Fire, a little bit Shameless. I loved it’ LOUISA YOUNG

‘Daring and devastating’ FIONA MOZLEY

A young woman spends her days watching the neighbours through their windows. She is a refugee, who has seen the failure of the Arab Spring in her homeland and who has been traumatized into silence by her brutal journey from Syria to Britain.

As an outsider, a mute voyeur, she sees everything, she hears everything: the love, the fighting, the families, the secrets, the lies, the sex, the shame. Slowly drawn into the community that surrounds her, she begins to come to terms with all she has lost. After a brutal attack on the local mosque, she realises she is the only witness to the truth behind the violence. But will she finally speak of all she’s seen?

Rear Window meets Exit West, this beautifully written novel tells the powerful story of one woman’s trauma and her gradual healing.

Publisher Review

'Silence is a Sense opens the door on lives we need to hear more about. Lyrical, moving, revealing, it made me understand better the very human need for safety and contact' Tracy Chevalier 'I was properly enthralled: such intelligence, such a deep pure standard of human decency and connection, such beautiful writing. So intriguing and at the same time revelatory, and absolutely on point about trauma. A little bit Rear Window, a little bit Home Fire, a little bit Shameless. I loved it' Louisa Young 'Silence is a Sense is a fierce novel. The prose is ferocious, the pace is ferocious and the beguiling central character, known as The Voiceless, conceals behind her inability - or reluctance - to speak, a striking, visceral intensity. She obsessively watches the people around her to silence her own trauma, but every now and then it can't help but break through. Layla AlAmmar has skilfully woven a narrative of memory and grief with an illuminating social critique of the position of asylum seekers within contemporary British society. It is daring and devastating.' Fiona Mozley 'A powerful new voice, full of brilliant, sharp observational detail' Nikita Lalwani Praise for THE PACT WE MADE by Layla AlAmmar 'A Kuwaiti #MeToo novel of muffled suffering and a bid for freedom - absorbing, brave and compelling' Leila Aboulela 'Truthful and courageous, radical and lyrical. I loved it' Hanan al-Shaykh 'So beautifully written and so important, and so cleverly crafted, it can't be a debut. But it is' Joanna Cannon 'A timely and deeply affecting debut with a voice that needs to be heard, at a time when it matters most' Charlotte Philby 'Brilliant book about the pressures of being a 30 year old unmarried woman in Kuwait - the struggle for modernity amidst patriarchal tradition - and the cultural failure to acknowledge trauma. What a debut!' Pandora Sykes

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