An Unsafe Haven

Nada Awar Jarrar

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Book Overview

‘Captivating …There’s a breadth of humanity in An Unsafe Haven which is very moving. I loved the sense of Lebanon and of what is unique and precious about the Arab world’ Helen Dunmore

Nada Awar Jarrar paints an intimate portrait of modern-day Beirut where everyone has a story to tell…

Journalist Hannah is deeply rooted in the city of her birth, reporting first-hand on growing unrest in the region. Her American husband Peter is uncertain about their future in Lebanon and increasingly worried for his friend Anas, a Syrian artist estranged from his wife and children. Maysoun, an immigrant from Iraq, works with refugees, secretly dreaming of a more tranquil life in the West.

A chance encounter in a busy street with a young refugee and his mother draws the four characters into a startling chain of events that will both test and alter each of them irrevocably.

An Unsafe Haven is a vital and beautiful novel about facing up to the future in a world where conflict and loss have become the fabric of everyday life.

About the author

Nada Awar Jarrar was born in Lebanon to an Australian mother and a Lebanese father. She has lived in London, Paris, Sydney and Washington DC and is currently based in Beirut where she lives with her husband and daughter. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, The Times, The Sydney Morning Herald and Lebanon's English language newspaper, The Daily Star. Her first novel, Somewhere, Home won the Commonwealth Best First Book award for Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.


Praise for An Unsafe Haven:

‘The carefully chosen title is a beautiful summary capturing the complexity, the strain and ultimately the instinct of how we identify with home, place and belonging. The publishers are certainly right to be proud of this elegant and relevant literary contribution’ Litro

‘Brings home the reality of humanity caught in the crossfire of war’ Independent

‘Each character is portrayed in wonderfully vivid and intricate detail … an absolute triumph for Jarrar, who is able to depict the story in a way few other writers could. Bold, tender and personal – this is a must-read’ Scotsman

Praise for Somewhere, Home:

‘A picture of lyrical simplicity … her style is subtle and leaves the reader with an urge to find out more about the places and people she has created’ Observer

Praise for A Good Land:

‘It’s an intense encounter with a mysterious and complicated place. Jarrar’s movement between tenses and time zones serves to convince the reader that past and present cannot be separated…’ Time Out

Praise for Dreams of Water:

‘The beauty of this novel lies in its images which are vivid and strange, sometimes even fantastical…There is comfort in reading about characters, all of whom are withdrawn and inhibited, yet who are shown as capable of great tenderness’
Times Literary Supplement

‘A slow-burning, powerful story of loss and grief’
Good Housekeeping

‘Twenty years ago, when civil war broke out in Lebanon, Nada Awar Jarrar was forced to flee with her family. Her novel Dreams of Water recasts this experience in a tale about a family whose son goes missing in war-ravaged Beirut’