They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears

Johannes Anyuru, trans. from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel. Two Lines, $22.95 (260p) ISBN 978-1-931883-89-4
Mixing past, present, and future, Anyuru’s latest (after the poetry collection Only the Gods Are New) centers around a violent act that ripples through alternate versions of time. During a terrorist attack at a Swedish bookstore on an author who draws depictions of Mohammed, one of the terrorists feels herself sliding out of time, flashing to a future where the attack will change the life of Muslims in Sweden. As visions of Muslim families in ghettos and a concentration camp flash before her eyes, she makes a decision that changes the course of history. Years later in a psychiatric facility, she tells her story to a famous Muslim author. She claims to be a visitor from an alternative future that would have happened had she not changed history in the bookstore, and draws a horrifying picture of what could have been: a Sweden of anti-Muslim laws and medical experiments on Muslims. The narrative moves between her upbringing, the events leading up to the attack, her time in prison, and chapters written by the author she is addressing as he struggles with her impossible narrative. The depth of Anyuru’s work grows, revealing shocking connections between the young woman and the author interviewing her. In gorgeous prose, Anyuru’s potent story addresses today’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and the grim future it could create. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/06/2019
Release date: 10/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-931883-90-0
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