Deborah Campbell header image 1

A DISAPPEARANCE IN DAMASCUS  –  Knopf Canada, Picador USA

WINNER, HILARY WESTON WRITERS’ TRUST PRIZE 

WINNER, FREEDOM TO READ AWARD

WINNER, HUBERT EVANS PRIZE

A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE


“I imagine that most everyone who reads A Disappearance in Damascus will come to a moment when an image suddenly clutches at his or her heart…. Deborah Campbell has written a searing and extraordinarily affecting account of her experiences in Syria in the mid-2000s, one that reads in equal parts as memoir, history and mystery story…. Riveting and devastating…. [Campbell] has produced one of the more harrowing accounts of life inside a police state in recent memory.”―Scott Anderson, The New York Times Book Review

A Disappearance relates an unsettling true story with journalistic adroitness and novelistic flair….The author powerfully conveys Ahlam’s plight behind bars, injecting stark brutality into a story hitherto characterized by uncertainty and angst, and ushering the reader into a terrifying hidden dimension.”―Rayyan Al-Shawaf, Washington Post

“[A Disappearance in Damascus] is a compelling story, a page-turner, and one that sheds light on the fraught political situation in the Mideast, the lives of ordinary citizens and the West’s culpability in the giant mess… One of Campbell’s great skills as a writer — besides her formidable reporting chops — is her ability to clearly explain complicated politics without oversimplifying … The book is steeped in atmosphere and sensual details, bringing Damascus to vibrant life, a reminder that the war-torn neighborhoods we see in the news are only one part of a sophisticated ancient world … This important book opens our eyes to the lives of the people who are trying to find peace in a world of chaos.”―Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis StarTribune

“Powerful and gripping….inspiring.”—Christian Science Monitor

“[A] riveting detective story… Campbell reveals the intimate relationship between journalist and fixer ― and, more tellingly, unravels a darker truth about how a paranoid security service can terrorize those on both sides of a prison wall…. Even for those who don’t have a personal connection to the Syrian story, Disappearance is a great read. It’s a taut detective story, and an intimate account of friendship in the paranoia of a coming war.”―Deborah Amos, NPR

“A powerful book….the effect on readers will be transformative.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Captivating.”—Booklist (starred review)