No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria

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Product Details

$26.95  $25.06
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.5 X 9.7 X 1.4 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author

Rania Abouzeid has won the Michael Kelly Award and George Polk Award for foreign reporting, among many other prizes for international journalism. She has written for The New Yorker, Time, Foreign Affairs, Politico, the Guardian, and the Los Angeles Times. A former New America fellow, she lives in Beirut, Lebanon.


The civil war in Syria is the most catastrophic event of our time, and the most dimly understood. Most journalists won't go near it. Rania Abouzeid has produced a work of stunning reportage from the very heart of the conflict, daring to go to the most dangerous places in order to get the story. The result is a sensational book that allows us a deeper, and more humane, understanding of this terrible war; it's a credit to Abouzeid's bravery and fortitude.--Dexter Filkins, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Forever War
Rania Abouzeid has written an intimate portrait of a chaotic war. Her profiles of Syrians caught up in the savage unraveling of the country heightens the tragedy, a lens missing from the news stories. This book is a must read for anyone who has watched the seemingly incomprehensible horror and for policy makers who must try to stop the violence.--Deb Amos, author of Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East
A fabulous and illuminating account of the Syrian conflict told by a world-class journalist at the height of her powers. This is about real people, their real stories and how they web together to tell the wider story of a nation in crisis. A rich and rewarding book that informs, excites and inspires. A truly first-class piece of high-end reportage.--Tim Butcher, author of The Trigger, Blood River, and Chasing the Devil
Rania Abouzeid has not just written a powerful human story of the most tangled war of our time. This is journalism at its very best: brave; personal; written with aching beauty. She has rewritten history's first draft with great authority.--Lyse Doucet, BBC presenter and chief international correspondent
Page after page of extraordinary reporting and many flashes of exquisitely descriptive prose. ... [U]nforgettable ... Abouzeid's remarkable journalistic and literary work has given us, at last, a book worthy of the enormous tragedy that is Syria.--Christopher Dickey
Excellent. ... [P]robably the most perceptive journalistic account of the war so far, highlighting the individual stories while never losing sight of the broader situation and history. ... Abouzeid's understated bravery and ability to merge into the background speak to the power of immersive eyewitness reporting, foregrounding the experience of the people she meets and writing with modesty.--Lindsey Hilsum
Eloquent and devastating ... Abouzeid relates the drama of this chaos in gripping prose.
[An] unparalleled account of the Syrian uprising, drawing on six years of immersive reporting.
Extraordinary. ... There is no better way to refocus on Syria than to read Rania Abouzeid's book. Abouzeid tells the story of the conflict through the life stories of individuals. What could simply be a standard journalistic device succeeds triumphantly because of the skill and sensitivity of Abouzeid's writing, the depth of her reporting and the extraordinary nature of the stories she tells. As a result, her book has the compelling qualities of a novel, rather than simply a work of reportage.
[S]earing and sparingly beautiful...War, she reminds us, alters the architecture of the city as much as it scrambles the human psyche.--Najwa al-Qattan
Weaving together the lives of mothers and sons, fighters and civilians, the oppressors and the oppressed in one epic journey, Rania tells the story of a nation in the grips of revolution and social upheaval. From the initial feeling of hope to the ultimate struggle for survival, this is an essential read not only for those interested in Syria and the Middle East, but for anyone who strives to understand the mechanics of a society torn by civil war.--Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Middle East correspondent, Guardian
No Turning Back stands far above anything I have read about the Syrian war. Rania Abouzeid has produced a masterpiece, weaving together the lives of protesters, victims, and remorseless killers at the center of this century's most appalling human tragedy. No one else, to my knowledge, has reported this story so bravely or narrated it with such intimacy and power.--Robert F. Worth, author of A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS
No Turning Back is a monumental achievement. I can think of few other journalists, past or present, who have reported on any war as courageously, analyzed it as trenchantly, or rendered the lives of its participants and victims as movingly, as Abouzeid has done here for the war in Syria. The book will no doubt endure as a work of literature. But that is incidental. Right now it is an urgent and devastating dispatch from the world as it is.--Luke Mogelson, National Magazine Award-winning journalist