Project Description

Read an extract
22 February 2022
RRP: $29.99
ISBN: 9781922711038
Paperback,  288 pages
234 x 153 mm

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Son of Sin

by Omar Sakr

Poet Omar Sakr’s debut novel is a fierce and fantastic force that illuminates the bonds that bind families together as well as what can break them.

An estranged father. An abused and abusive mother. An army of relatives. A tapestry of violence, woven across generations and geographies, from Turkey to Lebanon to Western Sydney. This is the legacy left to Jamal Smith, a young queer Muslim trying to escape a past in which memory and rumour trace ugly shapes in the dark. When every thread in life constricts instead of connects, how do you find a way to breathe? Torn between faith and fear, gossip and gospel, family and friendship, Jamal must find and test the limits of love.

In this extraordinary work, Omar Sakr deftly weaves a multifaceted tale brimming with angels and djinn, racist kangaroos and adoring bats, examining with a poet’s eye the destructive impetus of repressed desire and the complexities that make us human.

PRAISE for Son of Sin

‘Tender, candid, poetic, vivid … Son of Sin is Jamal’s internal fight spilling painfully, and poetically, on to the page – cut through with a hunger to destroy that which oppresses us.’
The Guardian

‘An Australian bildungsroman of genuine heart, guts and mind, full to the brim with brio and bona fides, one to add straight to the canon.’
The Australian

‘I inhaled this novel. The story and the world and the language are exhilarating.’
Christos Tsiolkas

‘Poetry in prose, this is a wondrous, beautiful novel.’
Sisonke Msimang

‘Omar’s intensely poetic narrative adds a new and powerful dimension to the Australian literary landscape.’
Alexis Wright

‘Extraordinary. I loved this powerful, intoxicating narrative of the things that bind and break us. Omar Sakr wields language with a poet’s hunger for truth.’
Hannah Kent

‘It’s got the pulse and energy of a life lived.’
ABC RN The Bookshelf

‘It is transcendent.’
Cassie McCullagh, ABC Radio Sydney

‘A remarkable achievement. Sakr writes with grace and power. 4 ½ stars.’

‘Sakr has a poet’s sensibility, and he writes haunting images and insights worth lingering over.’
The Monthly

‘A complex, raw and mightily moving novel, it’s possible March has already brought us one of the best releases of this year in Son of Sin.’
The Chestnut Tree Bookshop

‘Simultaneously heavy and beautiful, this novel will appeal to fans of Ocean Vuong and to anyone interested in the intersections of race, sexuality and religion.’

About the Author

Omar Sakr is the author of two acclaimed poetry collections, These Wild Houses (Cordite Books) and The Lost Arabs (UQP). The Lost Arabs won the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the John Bray Poetry Award, the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and the Colin Roderick Award. Omar is a widely published essayist and editor whose work has been translated into Arabic and Spanish. Born to Lebanese and Turkish Muslim migrants in Western Sydney, he lives there still. Son of Sin is his first novel.