A daughter disappears. A father in despair sets off for a dangerous journey to Syria.
DER GROSSE WUNSCH
(What You Wish For)
by Sherko Fatah
Luchterhand Literaturverlag/PRH Germany, August 2023
A daughter has disappeared. She has travelled to Syria to marry a jihadist she met online. Her father Murad blames himself. If he had only told Naima more about his old homeland, which he has left behind mentally, as well as physically; if only he had paid more attention to her feelings of alienation – perhaps then she wouldn’t have gone to a strange country in the name of religion. Murad knows he must find Naima. He contacts human traffickers and travels to the Kurdish territory on the Turkish-Syrian border, where he comes face to face with his past. When the traffickers play him an audio diary recorded by a woman in Raqqa – probably Naima – Murad sets out on a perilous journey into ISIS territory…
Sensitive and insightful, this is a heartbreaking story set against the backdrop of the conflict in the Middle East.
Sherko Fatah was born in 1964 as the son of an Iraqi Kurd and a German mother. He grew up in East Germany and, in 1975, moved to West Berlin with his family via Vienna. He studied philosophy and history of art. Fatah has received numerous awards for his narrative work, most recently the Großer Kunstpreis Berlin of the Akademie der Künste, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize 2015, as well as the Aspekte-Literaturpreis for Borderland. His novels have been translated into several languages.