This Life or the Next

“A fantastic memoir and literary fiction that helps understand how a young adult could be drawn into the cause of Syria, but also be misguided and hurt. The author does a fantastic job of putting confessions together. This story points to a natural need for young adults to find a cause. It could be channeled in a less damaging way by offering programs that would help address it..” Lara Moore Reviews

From award-winning author, Demian Vitanza comes a groundbreaking novel – his first to be translated into English – about one man’s alienation, radicalization, and disillusionment on the violent front lines in Syria.

Summary: Tariq Khan is a Pakistani born and raised in Norway. An outsider in his own country – adrift between two worlds divided by class, race, and culture – he’s always been searching for a home. Alongside a flock of other streetwise young men, each looking for direction and each easily susceptible, Tariq finds his cause in the Muslim revival.

Idealistic, driven by faith, and empowered with purpose, he’s drawn to radical Islam – his last resort for achieving a sense of belonging, for embracing and being embraced. It’s only when he enlists in the war against Assad that Tariq’s eyes are truly opened. Dispirited with the violence, faced with the consequences of his choices, and increasingly distanced by the brutalities of jihad, Tariq contends with spiritual struggles that are his alone. So are the stories he will tell to make sense of his life.

In this daring and unprecedented work of literary fiction, Demian Vitanza explores the power of memory, the lure of rebellion, the search for meaning amid chaos – and the toll that such a journey can take before finally finding one’s way home.

 

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