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Yumna Kassab



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Ultimo Press
04 January 2024
‘a compelling, intricate and multifaceted tale’ –The Saturday Paper

‘Like an impressionist painter, Kassab uses words like brushstrokes to build a vivid picture of intertwined lives set against the continuing drumbeat of war. The narrative moves between past, present and future and uses time as an effective device to illustrate how the effects of war linger long after its cessation.’ – Books and Publishing

A captivating literary journey that delves into the intertwined lives of a town, its people, and a region shaped by revolution and war.

The war broke out and she decided to call her dad.

Weeks and weeks they do not speak, and the weeks become months and then they are so many years.

She imagines herself starting this story.

She imagines how she will tell this story later to someone else. We hadn't spoken for years but then the war broke out...

As conflict plays out across an unnamed region, its inhabitants deal with the fallout. Families are torn apart and brought together. A divide grows between those on either side of the war, compromises are struck as the toll of violence impacts near and far. We learn about those who are left behind and those who choose to leave in a great scattering. As the stories of those affected play out, they weave together to show the whole of a society in the most extreme of circumstances. Even after the last shot is fired, their world will never recover.

From the acclaimed author of The House of Youssef, Australiana and The Lovers comes a powerful new novel that asks again if it’s possible to ever measure the personal cost of war.


‘In a 2022 interview, Kassab said a responsibility of the novelist is to “write with an eye towards humanity”. And she never falters in this, with Politica always drawing us back to war’s immeasurable personal cost.’ – The Guardian

‘a rewarding tale of real people navigating war, love, loss, poverty and many other challenges, all linked by time and location. The novel asks if it is possible to ever measure the personal cost of war. Through all the stories she creates here, Kassab makes it clear that it can never be.’ – The Saturday Paper

‘an evocative literary tale’ – Australian Women's Weekly

Imprint:   Ultimo Press
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
ISBN:   9781761152009
ISBN 10:   1761152009
Pages:   272
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Yumna Kassab is a writer based in Sydney. She studied medical science and neuroscience at university. Her fiction has been listed for prizes including the Miles Franklin Literary Award, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Queensland Literary Awards, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, and The Stella Prize. 

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