Author: Omar El Akkad
What Strange Paradise is the story of two children finding their way through a hostile world.
“But it is also a story of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair — and about the way each of those things can blind us to reality,” said a review on goodreads.com.
In his debut novel, American War, Omar El Akkad imagined a civil war and its dystopian fallout. Now he tells the story of Amir, a Syrian boy fleeing home who is the only survivor after a harrowing journey to an unnamed island. There, amid catastrophe and heartbreak, he meets a local teenager who decides to help him.
“In alternating chapters, we learn about Amir’s life and how he came to be on the boat, and we follow him and the girl as they make their way toward safety,” said the review.
Akkad was born in Egypt, moved to Canada as a teenager and now lives in the US.
The start of his journalism career coincided with the start of the war on terror, and over the following decade he reported from Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and many other locations around the world.