Author(s): Khaled Hosseini
On a moonlit beach a father cradles his sleeping son as they wait for dawn to break and a boat to arrive. He speaks to his boy of the long summers of his childhood, recalling his grandfather's house in Syria, the stirring of olive trees in the breeze, the bleating of his grandmother's goat, the clanking of her cooking pots. And he remembers, too, the bustling city of Homs with its crowded lanes, its mosque and grand souk, in the days before the sky spat bombs and they had to flee. When the sun rises they and those around them will gather their possessions and embark on a perilous sea journey in search of a new home.
"I have heard it said we are the uninvited. We are the unwelcome. We should take our misfortune elsewhere."
On a moonlit beach a father cradles his sleeping son as they wait for dawn and a boat to arrive to take them, hopefully, to safety. He tells of his own childhood summers in his grandparents' house in Syria, the stirring of olive trees and the clanking of cooking pots. He remembers the bustling city of Homs with its grand souk and smells of fried kibbeh, before the sky spat bombs and they had to flee.
Sea Prayer was inspired by the story of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi, who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach safety in Europe in 2015. Hosseini, whose novels The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed, became bestsellers, dedicates this poignant, but beautiful, story to the thousands who have perished at sea while trying to escape war and persecution.
His lyrical prose, written in the form of a letter, is perfectly matched by Dan Williams' stunning watercolour illustrations and you cannot help but feel compassion for the plight of so many displaced people. The powerful, heartbreaking message will resonate with all age groups from age 7 to adult and will stimulate discussion among families and in the classroom.
A deeply moving, gorgeously illustrated short story for people of all ages from the international bestselling author of The Kite Runner, brought to life by Dan Williams's beautiful illustrations. The book may be brief, but it is beautiful, poetic - a distillation of his strengths' Sunday Times
"Intensely moving. . .Powerfully evocative of the plight in which displaced populations find themselves."- Kirkus, STARRED Review
"Hosseini's story, aimed at readers of all ages, does not dwell on nightmarish fates; instead, its emotional power flows from the love of a father for his son."- Publishers Weekly, STARRED BOX Review
Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read and beloved authors. His novels The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed have sold over 55 million copies all over the world. Hosseini is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and lives in northern California.