The Sea Cloak

Out now! 

The Sea Cloak is a collection of 11 stories by the author, journalist, and women’s rights campaigner, Nayrouz Qarmout. Drawing from her own experiences growing up in a Syrian refugee camp, as well as her current life in Gaza, these stories stitch together a patchwork of different perspectives into what it means to be a woman in Palestine today.

Whether following the daily struggles of orphaned children fighting to survive in the rubble of recent bombardments, or mapping the complex, cultural tensions between different generations of refugees in wider Gazan society, these stories offer rare insights into one of the most talked about, but least understood cities in the Middle East. Taken together, the collection affords us a local perspective on a global story, and it does so thanks to a cast of (predominantly female) characters whose vantage point is rooted, firmly, in that most cherished of things, the home. 

Translated from the Arabic by Perween Richards.


The bestselling book at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019!
'All the arts are close to us because they allow us to recontextualise, to understand where we are, what we are, who we are. The Sea Cloak by Nayrouz Qarmout re-contextualises things so we really understand the world from the point of view we always knew was there.' - Ali Smith
'Reading [The Sea Cloak] on the train to Edinburgh, [Ali] Smith said, had induced so many small intakes of breath in her - those shocks of recognition again - that her fellow passengers must have worried about her.' - Read The Scotsman review Nayrouz Qarmout at Edinburgh International Book Festival with Ali Smith, Karine Polwart and Val McDermid. 
Read what Nayrouz had to say on displacement and Palestinian identity in conversation with Karine Polwart, Ali Smith and Val McDermid at Edinburgh International Book Festival here.
'I write for everyone, regardless of their gender, and wherever they are.' Read an interview with Nayrouz Qarmout at Restless Magazine.
'Qarmout's writing has a wisdom and clarity, and a richness of expression that is both exciting and compelling... The Sea Cloak is indeed a quiet revolution' - Translating Women
'These are stories of the very real daily battles for women's rights, the demands for accountability, and the search for honesty and visibility... they are stories that bring us far closer to the real lives of Palestinians than ever a news report or a collection of data could.' - Books and Bao
'The stories weave together a complex picture of Palestine, the crushing normality of drone strikes set against family trips to the beach... I genuinely cannot recommend this collection highly enough.' - The Literary Addict 
'Nayrouz Qarmout manages to paint all that Palestine is in vivid, startling detail... this stark, candid collection of a society upended, shows more of the territory's everyday reality than a news article ever could.' - Reminders of the Changing Time
'It slowly allowed me to build a fuller picture of what I think of when I imagine Palestine and Gaza... It was intriguing, captivating, and just beautiful to read.' - Travels in Fiction
'The elegiac, emotional, at times even humorous title story sets the tone [for this collection], displaying remarkable stylistic maturity and a sense of narrative economy uncommon for a debut author.' - Yannis Kontos 
Read an interview with Nayrouz Qarmout by journalist Orsola Casagrande on Arablit
Winner of a PEN Translates! Award in 2017.
Winner of The Herald's Angels Award at Edinburgh Internationl Book Festival 2018.
Nominated for Edinburgh Interational Book Festival's First Book Award 2018.
One of Translated Lit's Most Anticipated Books of August 2019
One of World Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations of 2018.

Read about Nayrouz’s struggle to cross the UK Border to attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival here 

"I think that the UK's attitude towards immigration has changed in general.." Read more of Nayrouz on UK Immigration

Short clip on Channel 4 News about Edinburgh-bound authors (including Nayrouz) facing visa problems.

Article by The Guardian on Nayrouz’s UK visa refusals to attend Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Stephanie Merritt writes on the importance and significance of Nayrouz’s visa struggle for The Pool.

Closing remarks from Edinburgh International Book Festival.

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Book Details

22 Aug 2019

About the Author

Nayrouz Qarmout

Nayrouz Qarmout is a Palestinian writer and activist. Born in Damascus in 1984, as a Palestinian refugee, she returned to the Ga…
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