Media Center: ‘Dark at the Crossing’ by Elliot Ackerman
WHO: Elliot Ackerman
WHAT: DARK AT THE CROSSING, a novel
WHEN: Published by Knopf January 25, 2017
WHERE: The story is set in Turkey and Syria.
WHY: “A thriller, psychological fiction, political intrigue, and even a love story all wrapped up into a stunningly realistic and sometimes horrifying package.”
—Robert E. Brown,
in a starred review for LIBRARY JOURNAL
“Ackerman has done a masterful job of creating a novel of ideas that invites thoughtful consideration of the folly and futility of war and the failure of idealism. The mood is somber, even bleak; the atmosphere one of aching emptiness. The text is beautifully written, and the rendering of the setting is superb. Dark at the Crossing makes a significant contribution to the literature of war.”
—Michael Cart, in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“Timely and unsettling…
a stark and multifaceted portrait of the civil war in Syria.
“After working as an interpreter for a Special Forces unit during the Iraq War in exchange for five years in America and citizenship for him and his sister, Iraq-born Haris Abadi travels to the Turkish border with Syria in hopes of joining the fight against President Bashar al-Assad’s repressive regime. But the border is closed. Then his American passport and possessions are stolen, and Haris is forced to remain in Gaziantep, Turkey.
“There, he finds shelter with Amir and Amir’s wife, Daphne — two Syrian refugees who fled their homeland after their daughter disappeared in a bomb blast that also destroyed their apartment building. The more time Haris spends with the couple, the more he learns about their past — Amir’s former ties to the revolution and Daphne’s fervent belief that their daughter is still alive. Haris’s quest for a cause to believe in takes a deadly turn when Daphne asks him to accompany her to Aleppo in secret to uncover what actually happened to her daughter.
“Flashbacks to Haris’s experiences during the Iraq War provide context and motive for his restless searching. Ackerman’s station in Istanbul, where he has covered the Syrian civil war since 2013 — plus five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan — aptly inform this timely and unsettling novel.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“Ackerman humanizes a war fraught with tragedy
and seemingly without resolution.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS