They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears
Winner of the prestigious August Prize for Best Work of Literary Fiction
It begins with an assault on a comic book store during an event by a cartoonist who has made jokes at the Prophet’s expense, but where it goes from there is strange, magical, and one of the first books to emerge out of our modern time to touch terrorism the way Vonnegut did war. Anyuru doesn’t shock the mind, but rather force us to ask new questions about what being a spectator truly means.
– John Freeman, Literary Hub
“Between the past, the present and future, Johannes Anyuru weaves a novel of powerful elegance, which speaks of the madness we’re approaching and a way, perhaps, of escaping it.”
– Le nouveau magazine littéraire
In the midst of a terrorist attack on a bookstore reading by Göran Loberg, a comic book artist famous for his demeaning drawings of the prophet Mohammed, one of the attackers, a young woman, has a sudden premonition that something is wrong, changing the course of history. Two years later, this unnamed woman invites an acclaimed writer to visit her in the criminal psychiatric clinic where she lives. She then shares with him an incredible story—she is a visitor from an alternate future where any so-called “anti-Swedish” citizens are forced into a horrific ghetto called The Rabbit Yard. As events begin to spiral and the author becomes more and more implicated in this woman’s tale, he comes to believe the unbelievable: she’s telling the truth.
A remarkably intense, beautifully wrought tale that combines the ingenuity of speculative fiction with today’s harsh political realities, They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears catapults Anyuru to the front ranks of world writers.
“They Will Drown is a political pamphlet, futuristic dystopia and a personal book of thoughts at the same time. . . . The novel becomes an almost physical experience—a punch.” – Goteborgs-Poste
“Walter Benjamin meeting Paul Virilio, meeting Donna Haraway, it is streams of consciousness full of verve and slang.” — Aftonbladet
“In imagining a future already at our doorstep, [Anyuru] describes ‘a Sweden that Sweden had created to purify itself.’ A land where fear and racism justify everything, including the very worst. . . . This disturbing text is discomforting in the face of the dangers of our times. But maybe another look would be beneficial, before it’s too late.” — Livres Hebdo
“[Anyuru] finds his way into the hardest questions of today without backing off, bursting the surface of the paralyzing fear of terrorism.” — Abedet