City of Jasmine

Pages: 256
Subject: Fiction, Translated Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld

City of Jasmine

Olga Grjasnowa

Translated by Katy Derbyshire
A poignant story of three young adults trying to make a future for themselves in war-torn Damascus
9781786074874 (7 Mar 2019)
RRP £12.99 / US$24.95

The Book

 Syria - a country at war.

Amid the horror and the brutality, three people, each with different reasons for being there, find themselves increasingly at odds with the authorities.

Hammoudi - a surgeon, returning to his homeland to renew his passport.

Amal - a young actress, eager to make her name.

Youssef- an aspiring director and already marked out as an enemy of the regime.

As each of them take up a role in the resistance, they encounter the sharp edge of the authorities' wrath. Soon they have no choice but to flee their homeland, facing untold dangers in a desperate bid to survive. City of Jasmine is an intimate and striking novel that offers real insight into the brutality of war and the humanity of many of those caught up in its horrors. An instant bestseller in Germany, it marks out Olga Grjasnowa as one of the most talented and admired young authors working there today.

Additional Information

Subject Fiction, Translated Fiction
Pages 256
Imprint Oneworld



‘Grjasnowa's measured undemonstrative writing style (the book is beautifully translated from German by Katy Derbyshire) is central to the novel's success... A significant literary and moral success.'

- Big Issue

‘There are few authors writing in German as sensuously and vividly as Grjasnowa.'

- KulturSpiegel

‘Grjasnowa provides a close-as-skin understanding of what it's like to suffer bombardment, torture, and dislocation while remaining human and hopeful... Highly recommended.'

- Library Journal, Reading Around the World: 12 Top Spring Titles for the Library Market

‘An important and painful book.'

- Deutschlandradio Kultur

‘Olga Grjasnowa's sentences crack like a whip.'

- Süddeutsche Zeitung

‘It is wonderful that there are writers like Grjasnowa who can write brilliantly and decisively about the real world.'

- Brigitte

‘A dark, tragic story with the resilient light of humanity shining through it... It truly spoke to my soul.'

- Marjorie's World of Books, blog review

‘Olga Grjasnowa writes from the nerve center of her generation.'

- Die Zeit

‘Grajsnowa's extraordinary novel offers an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with one of the great tragedies of our time - to remember what that nation once was, why and how the conflict began and what it has led to…Grajsnowa's measured undemonstrative writing style (the book is beautifully translated from German by Katy Derbyshire) is central to the novel's success…The reader isn't patronised or manipulated, and the emotional impact is all the greater. Characters come and go and live and die as the novel heads for its masterly, shattering denouement. A significant literary and  moral success.'

- Big Issue

‘A truly gifted writer...[who] has a very bright future ahead of her.'

- Yahoo! Voices