The U.S. invasion of Iraq is looming. Three siblings – two in London, one in Slemany – recall their troubled past. Stories of war, displacement, and coming to terms with the tragedies of a Kurdish family, all told from their different perspectives.
Torn between two countries and various life stories, the siblings find themselves dealing with complex life choices, and the mystery of their sister’s suicide twenty-two years ago.
Whispering Walls is a story of love, relationships, affection, and hope, with a cautious view of the future.
Full of urgent resonance for our present moment, Choman Hardi’s Whispering Walls is about a charismatic Kurdish family who confront their ghosts in the tense weeks leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The novel travels between London and Kurdistan, past and future, as each sibling grapples with a secret wound – a multilingual poet who loses her fluency in the face of love, a tender father who is haunted by the sister he failed, a journalist who must confront the truth in his own family.
A book that is written with the same sharp observation, fresh language and moral imagination of Hardi’s award-winning poetry, it asks a question we all must consider: how can we grapple with the tragedies of the past as we try to fashion a better future? Not only is Choman Hardi a brilliant poet, she is also a great novelist. I want everyone I know to read her book!’
Catherine Davidson, Poet & Novelist
More than anything, Whispering Walls is a novel about siblings, and how, even though we grow up in the same family, our lives unfold in distinct narratives. Choman Hardi, with compassion and unflinching honesty, tells the story of five siblings in a choral narrative that succeeds in being both deeply intimate and a chronicle of the land and people who have shaped them. A compelling reminder that behind complex national stories are the complex dramas taking place on the level of the family.
Shaun Levin, Artist & Author
A rare and fascinating glimpse of the dangerous past as seen through the eyes of Lana, a young poet, and her two brothers juggling a life in London and a Kurdish dream.
Romesh Gunesekera, Writer
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