Son of Sin
Poet Omar Sakr’s debut novel is a fierce and fantastic force that illuminates the bonds that bind families together as well as what can break them.
An estranged father. An abused and abusive mother. An army of relatives. A tapestry of violence, woven across generations and geographies, from Turkey to Lebanon to Western Sydney. This is the legacy left to Jamal Smith, a young queer Muslim trying to escape a past in which memory and rumour trace ugly shapes in the dark. When every thread in life constricts instead of connects, how do you find a way to breathe? Torn between faith and fear, gossip and gospel, family and friendship, Jamal must find and test the limits of love.
In this extraordinary work, Omar Sakr deftly weaves a multifaceted tale brimming with angels and djinn, racist kangaroos and adoring bats, examining with a poet’s eye the destructive impetus of repressed desire and the complexities that make us human.
"Tender, candid, vivid... Son of Sin is Jamal's internal fight spilling painfully and poetically onto the page - cut through with a hunger to destroy that which oppresses us."
"Simultaneously heavy and beautiful, this novel will appeal to fans of Ocean Vuong."
"Here we have an Australian bildungsroman of genuine heart, guts and mind, full to the brim with brio and bona fides, one to add straight to the canon."
"Sakr has a poet's sensibility, and he writes haunting images and insights worth lingering over."
"A darkly comic family saga... [Sakr] is funny and unapologetic, creating epic, stunningly dirty narratives that should appeal to a new generation of Australians."
"Son of Sin is an uncompromising and compassionate novel, an embrace of all those in predicaments like Jamal, and a bracing rebuke to all who fail to see them."
"Sakr is a talented storyteller with a keen sense of character development."
"The novel is beautifully written... It is a remarkable achievement. Sakr writes with grace and power and, speaking as a Sydneysider, it is a delight to see the city through his eyes."
"Each sentence is infused with poetry, and not to the detriment of the book as a longer work. With this novel, Sakr captures the complexities and darkness of a queer youth in which acceptance is hard-won, if present at all."
"Every line is just heartbreakingly perfect... I've never read anything like this, I'm glad that it exists and I just want to shout about it from the rooftops because it feels so vital right now."