The Calligrapher's Secret

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Click for availability and more information The Calligrapher's Secret, by Rafik Schami
Fiction books written by Syrian authors are certainly few in number. However, the German-based, Syrian-born author Rafik Schami has written numerous books for children and adults and is a most-interesting writer. His previous book The Dark Side of Love, was enthusiastically reviewed in this column last year. The Calligrapher's Secret, published in 2010, again illustrates how engaging his writing can be. Set in Schami's native Damascus, a major part of the story revolves around Hamid Farsi, a Syrian calligrapher noted for his ornate and intricately drawn Arabic writing, and his beautiful wife Noura. The appointment of Nasri, a young Christian man, as an apprentice to Farsi becomes the catalyst for a series of dramatic events in those three lives. Schami's other characters are also richly drawn and add interesting dimensions to the narrative tale. Perhaps The Calligrapher's Secret is not equal to the epic scale of The Dark Side of Love, but it is a wonderful story. The strength of Schami's writing lies in his great ability to bring life within Damascus society in the 1950's vibrantly alive and that adds so much to the story. The Calligrapher's Secret is, like his previous book, highly recommended.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on May 6, 2011 4:41 PM.

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