Fiction – Novels, Novellas, Short Stories

Olga Grjasnowa
Gott ist nicht schüchtern

© Aufbau Verlag, Berlin, 2017 Olga Grjasnowa: Gott ist nicht schüchtern © Aufbau Verlag, Berlin, 2017In her third novel, Gott ist nicht schüchtern (God is Not Shy), Olga Grjasnowa has created a particularly wide gap between her protagonists’ social and biographical starting positions and their later life stories. In the course of the years between 2011 and 2016, Hammoudi and Amal will lose everything that had previously defined their lives. (…)
The novel takes us to Syria, to the middle of the Arab Spring, which in 2011 spills over into the area ruled by Baschar al-Assad. Amal, who has a financially carefree existence on account of her father’s shady business dealings, takes part in the anti-regime demonstrations, while Hammoudi has to return to Syria to have his passport renewed. Then he plans to take up a job in Paris and live with Claire. (…)
In January 2014, before the destructive battle for Aleppo, the United Nations already estimated the number of dead in the Syrian civil war to be more than 430,000, and hundreds of thousands had suffered rape and torture. Olga Grjasnowa shows the escalation of brutality in two background stories that touch only briefly. They describe life in a system based on the arbitrariness of the secret services, physical violence and everyday corruption, a system that involves all kinds of amenities for the privileged and ultimately leads inevitably to flight.

Frauke Meyer-Gosau: „Sturz ins Nichts“
© Süddeutsche Zeitung, 22 March 2017

Olga Grjasnowa
Gott ist nicht schüchtern
Aufbau Verlag, Berlin, 2017
ISBN 9783351036652
309 pages

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