Ronya Othmann’s debut novel narrates the coming of age of Leyla, a Yazidi–Kurdish–German girl. She spends the school year in her mother’s home country of Germany but travels every summer to her father’s home village in Syria, near the Turkish border. She knows its smells and tastes. She knows its stories. She knows where the Yazidi villagers keep their suitcases hidden, should they need to escape again. And she watches from afar, horrified, as ISIS troops move on the village, threatening the lives of her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Leyla’s sexual awakening proves far less traumatic than her growing disenchantment with her German classmates and friends, who appear completely indifferent to the fate of her Yazidi community. Thoughtful and poignant, The Summers addresses issues of gender, sexuality, cultural difference, politics, and identity. Othmann draws readers into multiple worlds, ultimately revealing the hopes and dreams that bind us all together when forces threaten to tear us apart.
Find in a Library
University of Wisconsin Press
Families; Germany; Fiction; Translation
Creative Writing | Fiction | German Literature
Othmann , R., & Schmidt , G. (2023). The Summers. : University of Wisconsin Press.