Amity provides a window to the wreckage caused by wars—the destruction and displacement that leave pain and life-long psychological disorders, here specifically within the contexts of Yugoslavia’s dissolution and Iran’s revolution.
Payvand, an Iranian refugee and activist, still plagued with nightmares, meets a Ragusa, a Yugoslavian refugee whose pockets are loaded with stones as she prepares to walk into the water and end her life, a life that has become intolerable since the loss of those most dear to her.
Payvand listens to Ragusa’s story and Ragusa promises to postpone her suicide at least until she hears Payvand’s story in turn. In a novel that strives to raise awareness about the extent to which elites manipulate nations into wars, with total disregard for the lives of millions like Payvand and Ragusa, it is the warmth of personal relationships and friendships forged that are key to healing.
Awards and Honours
2016 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (finalist)